A Putnam County man wants Monterey officials to address potential safety concerns around Meadow Creek Park.
Stephen Maddux said areas like the bluff pose a risk of serious injury to park visitors.
“What would stop the city of Monterey from being sued for the cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation, etc, and possible community damages on top of that?” Maddux asked. “Monterey is a small town with a small budget. Even if you win, how much time and effort would it cost? If you lose, what would happen to the city’s insurance coverage? And what about the victims themselves?”
Maddux presented his concerns to the city’s Board of Aldermen Monday evening. Maddux’s address comes a month after a man was injured when he fell 25 feet from a bluff near the park and was transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center for treatment.
Maddux questioned city aldermen on how rules and regulations were implemented regarding the bluff near Meadow Creek Park.
“Over a year ago, a sales pitch was made to the city to ‘establish climbing access to the existing bluff line adjacent to the park property’,” Maddux said. “This was accepted at face value. Has anybody done a risk-benefit analysis? Does the alleged benefit outweigh the proven risk? Most of the bluff line is on private land outside of the park boundary.”
Maddux said Monterey should let Putnam County manage the park to prevent consequences down the road.
“Local residents can still benefit using the park, but the city would avoid the high cost of personnel, maintenance, insurance, lawsuits, etc,” Maddux said. “The city’s going to get the same amount tourist dollars even if the county runs the park. So why should city taxpayers be stuck with the costs and the risk of managing a county park five miles from town.”
Meadow Creek Park first opened in July 2018. Monterey’s insurance carrier has previously recommended prohibiting rock climbing from the park and at Bee Rock .