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The Neligh Young Men's Club wants to bring some Halloween fun back to Neligh and asked the City Council to allow a haunted trail in Fred Penn Park.
NYMC member Steve Simonsen told council members on Tuesday during the regular meeting that the club lost its haunted house several years ago and would like to have a fun event for local and area youth to enjoy during Halloween.
"The best location we came up with is Penn Lake Park. They have that shelter there that we would start the trail," he said. "Can we have a haunted haunted trail on city property? That's our big thing."
City Clerk Dana Klabenes asked City Attorney James McNally if there were concerns about having the trail on city property. McNally said there would be liability concerns if someone on the haunted trail was injured. Although the NYMC does have an insurance policy, McNally said the coverage may not be sufficient for potential medical expenses.
Simonsen said there would be a small admission charge since the NYMC rarely breaks even the way it is. Paying $500 for more coverage for this event would be a burden on the organization, he said. Council member Ted Hughes suggested having the event be a free-will offering, which would allow the City's insurance to cover the rest of the liability.
Council member Stephanie Wanek said a free-will donation with a suggested amount may be better to ensure everyone gives something to help cover costs. She also suggested asking a business to sponsor the event with an insurance rider, but Simonsen said he preferred not to ask businesses because they give so much during the Fourth of July.
Simonsen offered to take council members through the haunted trail for their approval as well and said the NYMC was asking now to be proactive in this discussion to ensure they had every concern met before moving forward.
"I don't think any of us are not supportive of this," Wanek said. "We just want to be cautious. We'll check into this and get more information for our next meeting."
Hughes asked about using the lottery fund for a small donation to help cover expenses since this is a youth event. Klabenes said the City has $48,707 in cash in that account.
"If the kids come through the haunted trail, they're not riding their bikes and toilet papering my house," Hughes said with a laugh. "I agree with Steph. I think we all are supportive of this but need to find a way."
The item was tabled and moved to the September agenda, which Simonsen said would still allow the organization enough time to plan their event for October.