Bessemer city council OKs 4th of July celebration

 

May 7, 2020



By CHARITY SMITH

[email protected]

Bessemer — After some debate the Bessemer City Council gave the 4th of July Committee the OK to proceed Monday.

“We are planning to move forward with our 4th of July. We have to have something to look forward to. We have to have something to hope for,” Linda Nelson said, as she addressed her fellow council members.

Mayor pro tem Terry Kryshack expressed concerns the city could be held liable if someone got sick with coronavirus at the festival and cited the issue of liability is being debated in Congress.

“Before I would say I would vote for it in this circumstance, we got to know that we are indemnified fully from the liability standpoint that we couldn’t get sued if somebody got sick if this actually took place,” Kryshack said. “I would love to see it take place, but I can’t say that I’m going to go for it till I at least know if we have risk.”


According to Nelson, the 4th of July Committee does have insurance.

“The 4th of July Committee does have full coverage insurance on each and every single one of our events that we host. Can the city get sued? Absolutely. People can sue anybody or anything that they want to sue them for, but we do have full coverage insurance and we always have for all our events,” Nelson said. “As far as getting the coronavirus, you can get coronavirus from anywhere that you possibly think about going and from surfaces that you could think about touching. You don’t know where you would get the coronavirus. So first of all you’d have to prove where you got it.”

Mayor Adam Zak suggested approving the special use permit with a stipulation that the council can revoke it if they find out there is a liability or if the council decides the celebration should be held at a later point.

“The 4th of July is so important to this town. It is something that we all look forward to every year. But obviously we look at what happened in New Orleans when they had Mardi Gras. Which is a much bigger scale, but their community is a much bigger scale, too,” said City Manager Charly Loper. “I just want the 4th of July Committee to take the utmost of precaution, if you move forward with it, because our hospital cannot handle an outbreak.”

The council decided to grant the special use permit, but implemented that the council has the right to revoke it at its will and is also conditional to the city council and 4th of July Committee’s discovery about their insurance liability.

“We’re saying it’s approved, go ahead. We just don’t know what’s going to happen,” Zak said.

 
 

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