A two-year tussle among Morgan County, Morgan City and the Morgan County School District over an interlocal recreation agreement may be grinding to a hault. On Tuesday, the Morgan County Council approved an agreement that specifically spelled out liability responsibilities for the three parties.
The move “set a precedent and showed the council’s desire to move forward,” said Morgan County Councilman Robert Kilmer.
After much debate among the three agencies, Johnnie Miller, the county’s representative from the Utah Counties Indemnity Pool (UCIP), finally weighed in on several issues.
Chief among them was how the three parties should handle liability issues in the event they were sued for bodily injury or property damage. Miller suggested each entity should defend and pay their own expenses for damages awarded. However, since the rec board exclusively uses school district facilities, much of that could be the district’s responsibility.
Kilmer said he remembers a time when the rec board used county property where the county library now stands, as well as Kent Smith Park. If such a situation happened again in the future, then the county would have to assume liability on those properties.
If the rec board’s official actions and decisions were legally called into question, the county would be on the line for that, Miller said. According to the agreement approved by the county Tuesday, the recreation board’s actions would be considered the actions of the county.
Miller said payroll responsibilities for the recreation board’s director should fall to the board’s fiscal agent, or the school district. As such, the recreation director would be an acting employee of the school district and must conform to the district’s policies and procedures. However, the recreation board would be responsible for supervising the recreation director.
Morgan County Attorney Jann Farris agreed with Miller’s recommendations.
“We have done our part,” by approving the agreement, Kilmer said. It will now be up to the city and school board to sign off on the agreement as well.