Mix 106.5

Mix 106.5

Monday, March 20, 2017

Recreation Still on Radar for Bruce County

Bruce County | by John Divinski  

Bruce County will remain in the business of providing recreational activities in the years ahead.

It appears Bruce County is going to remain in the business of providing recreational activities for its citizens and visitors in the years ahead.
There had been some concern after the county lost a court appeal on whether or not it was solely to blame for a mountain biking accident that left, then, 43-year-old Stephen Campbell a paraplegic.
You may recall the event happened in 2008 at the Bruce Peninsula Mountain Bike Adventure Park where two bikers, within months of each other, suffered broken necks at the free-ride park.
The park was made up of man-made obstacles which one could try out and progressively improve their skill levels.
Warning signs were up cautioning bikers to ride within their ability and skill level.
That type of park has since been shut down.
One case was settled out of court and the other went through the court system where it was decided the county was liable for all damages.
Planning and Development director Chris LaForest says future insurance costs and risks involved are likely to go up and council will have to decide what it wants to provide and what is not economically feasible.
LaForest says if "courts continue to view municipalities as social institutions that can provide funding when people get injured," some tough decisions will have to be made as to what to provide in the outdoor recreational field.
Chair of the Planning and Development committee, Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith says, "We're still going to be in the business of providing those things that people want.  We just want to make sure that they're safe and minimize our risk."
Smith says in the meantime, planning and development has created a risk management policy that the staff will be trained in.
Also more signage will be evident in the parks.
LaForest says they are out of the mountain bike park business and have shifted its focus on wilderness trails which are multi-use.
There is no indication what the two litigations will cost the county but insurance payouts could be in the millions of dollars.

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