Friday, November 03, 2006

The Course Is Temporarily Closed

As of 7:30AM, Devens Disc Golf Course is temporarily closed.

The two main reasons center around insurance and handicap accessibility.

I'll try to explain it as best as I can remember from our meeting this morning:

1. Because Devens is not yet a town and is instead run by MassDevelopment (a state agency), it does not (or cannot) offer general insurance to cover the course. If someone falls and wants to sue, they could sue MassDev as well as Brian and me and anyone involved in building the course. Because MassDev, Brian, and I do not want to get sued, we have decided to close the course. If Devens were a town, this would not be an issue because the course would be covered by the town's insurance policy.

2. Since Devens is technically a State entity, it has to follow laws concerning the ADA (American Disabilities Act). Everything that Devens installs on Devens has to be ADA-compliant, be it walking paths, observation towers, playgrounds, and disc golf courses. Obviously, making a disc golf course in New England handicap accessible is nearly impossible, especially on the Hill. Again, if Devens were a town, they would not have to follow these requirements, I believe.

So, what can we do? They suggested that we (Devens Disc Golf Club) form an LLC or non-profit organization and then rent the Hill from MassDev for $1/year. We would have to get our own insurance, just like any group that rents a soccer field does now, for example.

They said we can continue to work on the course, raise money, etc., but must post a "The Course Is Closed" sign on tee 1. This should protect everyone from anyone who decides to ignore the sign, play anyway, and fall.

Once we form our group and get insurance, the course will officially re-open. Until then, stay tuned.

If you were planning on helping Sat. thanks, but I won't be going over until later to put up the sign.

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