Cumberland Times-News

October 22, 2013

City: Homecoming bonfire may present liability issues

Greg Larry
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — A member of the Fort Hill Mothers Club asked city council members for information Tuesday night to assist the club in moving forward with its plans to hold a Homecoming bonfire Nov. 8 at Constitution Park.

Tara Arigo, a club member, asked the officials during their bi-weekly meeting what the required steps were to secure Constitution Park for the bonfire, which would be held on the eve of the Fort Hill versus Allegany high school football game.

“I have spoken to (Cumberland Fire Department) fire marshall Shannon Adams, who sees no problem with issuing a permit. I spoke with Diane Johnson from the parks and rec department, and there seems to be some issues with liability and cost,” said Arigo.

Jeff Rhodes, city administrator, told Arigo that the city typically requires a special events insurance policy be obtained by those wanting to hold events of that nature.

 Rhodes also said that some costs could be incurred by the city.

“The park has a series of one-way streets. We usually need police to direct traffic. The fire department would be there as well,” said Rhodes.

City officials said they would see if the costs could be covered within their normal operations and get back to her.

Officials also told Arigo that they would be happy to provide her with a list of requirements for obtaining special events insurance.

In other city news, the council voted to accept a $7,940 contract with Carl Belt Paving Inc. to remove aging asphalt, a process known as milling, on Waverly Terrace. The city will then resurface the street from Baltimore Street to Ridgeway Avenue.

“We expect to do it (remove asphalt and pave Waverly St.) soon because the asphalt plants usually shut down around Thanksgiving,” said Rhodes.

The city also announced the guidelines for those who were seeking to remove the $5 Chesapeake Bay Restoration fee from their water/sewer bill.

Those who wish to have the fee removed must meet at least two of the following four requirements.

• Applicant receives energy assistance subsidy.

• Applicant receives SSI or food stamps.

• Applicant receives veterans of disability benefits.

• The monthly income for one person is $1,633 or less; two individuals $2,200, three $2,766, four $3,333, five $3,900 and six $4,496 or less.

People wishing to apply need to obtain documents verifying their requirements and then contact City Hall for further instructions for filing for a waiver.

The mayor reminded everyone that the annual Halloween Parade will be held Wednesday night at 7 p.m. on Virginia Avenue.

Greg Larry can be contacted at