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Civic Groups Step In As City Searches For Insurance

January 3, 1987

RHINELANDER, Wis. (AP) _ Lions Club members worked at two municipal ice-skating rinks on Friday, and said they would operate four recreation programs while the city searches for liability insurance.

Five other recreation programs were being reviewed and could continue with the help of the Rhinelander and Hodag Lions clubs and the Rhinelander Lioness club, said Chuck Franz, a member of the Rhinelander Lions Club.

″Prospects look good, but we’ve got to get our members involved. We’ve got to be sure we can handle the programs,″ Franz said.

Franz and others spent Friday morning in the office of Mayor Joseph E. Bloom, making up work schedules for members who will help with the project.

″We’re committed to keep these programs going until the city receives liability insurance,″ Franz said. ″We’ll review the situation in 30 days if the city does not get the insurance.″

This city of 8,000 people has been without insurance since midnight Wednesday, and has curtailed services such as training programs and closed most buildings to all but municipal employees.

The city had planned also to close its parks and recreation programs.

″We all knew that the parks were going to be hit the hardest because they’ve got the most exposed activities,″ said Bloom.

But the civic groups agreed Wednesday to take over the rinks and programs such as basketball and volleyball.

Franz said the three Lions groups, with 200 members, were protected by liability insurance sponsored by Lions Club International of Oak Brook, Ill. He said the clubs could accept the help of community volunteers and still be covered by the insurance.

Bloom said the city clerk and attorney were trying to find new liability insurance. The city began its search Dec. 1 after learning that Tower Insurance Co. Inc. of Pewaukee would no longer write municipal liability policies.

The city paid $25,000 for liability insurance in 1986, and expects to pay more this year, Bloom said. Although officials said there have been no major claims lately, no company so far has offered to insure the city.

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