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Unisured hockey group off the ice

The doors to Prairie Island Arena were locked Thursday night as Red Wing Amateur Hockey Association works with the school district to clear up language in the district’s “Facility Use Policy and Procedures.”

The wording, amended early this year to require a certificate of insurance by anyone who rents district property, has left the association uninsured and unable to move forward with scheduled clinics and tryouts.

The RWAHA webpage on the Red Wing Athletic Association website has a message from RWAHA President Chuck Kinney saying the association still does not have insurance but expects to soon and that USA Hockey has offered an addendum to the school’s policy.

“Over the last several days there have been very high emotions on both sides as we worked through this process. But as we close this effort, both organizations feel we worked hard to end this and walk away in better shape moving forward,” Kinney said in a posting on the website. “I do not believe that any issues this week were the result of any actions of bad faith by anyone within either organization.”

RWAHA is a member of USA Hockey, which insures all members within its organization. USA Hockey’s website states: “By registering as a member of USA Hockey you are automatically enrolled in the USA Hockey insurance program.”

The school district’s policy requires a certificate of insurance indicating a specified amount of insurance.

USA Hockey, however, refused to offer a certificate of insurance to RWAHA because it wants a language contained in the district’s policy on facility use and procedures.

Supt. Karsten Anderson said the last couple weeks have been spent trying to resolve the issue.

“Unfortunately, during that time frame there were some kids who were not allowed to use the facility,” he said.

The district’s attorney came up with some language that the School Board will consider at a special meeting Tuesday, Anderson said.

Finance Director Brad Johnson said there was an attempt to make sure the language didn’t become too oppressive and that they were just looking to put some boundaries in place.

“The new language in the school policy will be a benefit to all users in the future. We happened to be the organization that discovered it,” Kinney said in his posting. “The good news in that we feel positive that we will have the players on the ice next Tuesday as scheduled.”

The special board meeting has been posted for 7 a.m. Oct. 8 in the Community Education conference room at the high school so the board can approve the amended version of the policy, clearing the way for the hockey association to receive its required certificate of insurance.

This will be the only item on the agenda.

Policy change

Red Wing School District’s “Facility Use Policy and Procedures” currently states:

“The applicant and/or organization agrees to assume all responsibility for damage or liability of any kind and further agrees to hold harmless School District 256 from any liability and/or expense occurring as a result of the use of the school facilities. The Board of Education requires the applicant and/or organization to furnish a Certificate of Liability Insurance in the amount of $1,000,000/occurrence and $1,000,000/aggregate which names District 256 as an additional insured.”

The proposed amended version reads:

“The applicant and/or organization/association renting District facilities agree to reimburse District No. 256 for all damages to the ice arenas and/or District 256’s equipment resulting from their use of the facilities. The applicant and/or organization/association renting District facilities agree to release, indemnify and hold harmless District 256 from any and all claims, demands, suits, actions or liabilities resulting from injuries or death to any persons, or damage or loss of any property, arising from the use of the facility unless occasioned wholly by any willful or negligent act or omission of the District. The Board of Education requires the applicant and/or organization/association renting District 256 facilities to furnish a Certificate of Liability Insurance in the amount of $1,000,000/occurrence and $1,000,000/aggregate which names District 256 as an additional insured.”

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett


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