Paxton park board removing sledding hill

Paxton park board removing sledding hill

PAXTON — The next time Paxton gets a big snowfall, the hill at Coady Park will be off limits to sledders.

The hill, a popular sledding destination for locals, is being removed over the course of the next several weeks. Liability concerns raised by the Paxton Park District's insurance provider, the Park District Risk Management Agency, led to the park board's decision to remove it earlier this winter.

"The insurance would have skyrocketed if someone was hurt," said board member Kay McCabe.

The park district's recreation director, Neal McKenry, said he thinks Paxton residents will miss the hill but will adjust eventually.

"I can imagine that the first couple of times it snows, they'll think about the hill and come out (to Coady Park) and see it's not there and be disappointed," McKenry said, "but I'm hoping within a couple of years it will be forgotten."

Workers for Murle Roy Construction, Paxton, started removing the trees and vegetation on the hill last week and began removing dirt this week, Roy said.

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alabaster jones 71 wrote on February 20, 2013 at 9:02 am
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The park board ought to be able to erect a sign at the hill that says "Sled at your own risk.  Paxton Park District and the City of Paxton will not be held financially responsible in any way for any injuries incurred during sledding."  That should be a legally binding "contract" that the sledder enters when using the hill.  Alas, sadly, thanks to the outrageous personal liability laws in this country, it wouldn't be.  Instead, the enjoyment of sledding on the hill will be ruined just out of fear that one ambulance chasing lawyer will sue after some kid breaks their leg sledding on the hill.

When I was growing up, there were lots of sledding hills, and lots of potentially dangerous playground equipment that afforded the possibility of getting hurt if you were not adequately careful while playing on it.  And that was a great thing.  It taught me and other children that you can get hurt if you are not careful.  That is a priceless lesson to learn.  These days, most playground equipment is so safety-proofed and so low to the ground that any child above the age of, say, five or six would not be able to enjoy using it.  Just another casualty of our overly litigious society.

gagablogger wrote on February 20, 2013 at 9:02 am

For real.  Only in Paxton, Illinois, do they remove an entire sledding hill, that children play and sled on, because a child might get hurt someday.  Gosh I guess we better remove all the sledding hills in the country, I mean a child might get hurt or something!  You just never know!  The playgrounds should all be immediately dismantled too, because a child may get hurt....better ban tricycles and bikes too, because a child might get hurt.........

SaintClarence27 wrote on February 20, 2013 at 9:02 am

Unless it's a child unaccompanied by a parent, which would make them unable to consent to a contract.

sameeker wrote on February 20, 2013 at 10:02 am

I am so sick of insurance companies dictating everything. Maybe they should quit collecting their money. After all, somebody might get hit by a car on the way to go pay their bill. Illinois need to break thye power of teh insurance companies in this state. Of course, they won't since they are bought and paid for by them. Who is the insurance company involved? I would like to personally call them with my opinion. By the way, this capta system sucks. It is redundant and full of problems. This is a VERY user unfriendly sight.

bluegrass wrote on February 20, 2013 at 1:02 pm

I was not aware that insurance companies are 'dictating everything,' whatever that means.  Outside of Medicaid, Medicare, and whatever hot mess will be created by Obamacare, insurance is still a private enterprise made up of various companies in competetion with each other.  The Paxton board has choices.  It can change insurance companies, it can change coverages, it can pay the extra premiums, it can not carry insurance at all.  I think your ire might be a little better directed at the judicial system, the laws of the state, and the Trial Lawyers Association lobby.  

sameeker wrote on February 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Another corporate apologist. Insurance companies dictate to cities, businesses and homeowners all of the time. Drop the insurance requirement and get those crooks out of the system. I notice that you put in a slam on your so called "Obamacare", which is actually "Romneycare" since it is the same thing that he enacted in Massachusetts. You need to read the article that Time magazine published this week on why health care costs are so high. being a corporate erson, I'm sure you will wet your pants with rage when you see the corporations being called out.

sweet caroline wrote on February 20, 2013 at 11:02 am

AlabasterJones is right-on.  I remember as a kid that we'd fall and hurt ourselves on playground equipment, sledding, etc., all the time.  Nobody ever thought of suing anyone over it.  It was the price you paid when you were being careless.  A sign indicating that you play at your own risk should be all it takes to ensure that a park district doesn't get sued.

SaintClarence27 wrote on February 20, 2013 at 11:02 am

See my comment above. AlabasterJones is wrong.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on February 20, 2013 at 11:02 am
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I didn't claim that the sign would be legally binding, just that it ought to be.

Do you agree, or are you a lawyer?

SaintClarence27 wrote on February 20, 2013 at 11:02 am

Neither. I don't think that signs should be legally binding on children. That said, I also don't think that a park district having a hill should constitute negligence or maintaining an attractive nuisance, so they *still* shouldn't get sued. MAYBE if they had like a pit of spikes at the bottom of the hill.

jk23 wrote on February 20, 2013 at 12:02 pm

There was a playground right next to the hill, but they tore it down a few years ago for insurance reasons.

There was also a high diving board at the pool that was on the other side of the now removed playground, but it was also torn down for insurance reasons.

No one couldve been more careless and reckless on any of those 3 liabilities than my friends and me during our younger years. We never got hurt.

Theyre going to fill the space with a dog park...

alabaster jones 71 wrote on February 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm
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Well said.  I'm surprised that they are comfortable with the risk of a dog park.  What if someone gets bitten?

That gives me an idea for anyone in Paxton who could some extra cash.  When the dog park opens, rub some raw meat on your hands and clothes, visit the dog park, and walk up to the meanest looking mutt there.  Could be quite the settlement opportunity.  You could sue the park district, the dog's owner, maybe even both...

eltigrito wrote on February 26, 2013 at 8:02 pm

I heard there's a bacon cologne for men. I bet this would work as well.

Crow310 wrote on February 21, 2013 at 6:02 am

Thats really sad. I remember going there with my younger sister and Dad. Why is the insurance a concern now? Its been there for years.  



kfzmeister wrote on February 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Too many lawyers everywhere. Just like mentioned above, what has our society become? It is a God given right to take chances and be spontaneous. It is a vital part of life. A sledding hill removed. Really?

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Hook up sleds to a John Deere tractor, and crack the whip.  For people growing up without hills, it was a tractor with sleds attached.  Hayrack rides in the fall, and tractor sledding in the winter. 

Paxton must be experiencing financial difficulties.  Wasn't there a story about their Christmas tree getting shorter?  It is a conservative town.  "Welcome to Scroogeville, Illinois"

It's Obama's fault!!!

eltigrito wrote on February 26, 2013 at 8:02 pm

My family moved to Paxton in 1969. It was and remains a decent place to live. It is a quiet town. Ample parking day or night. However, it has changed quite a bit since I was a kid. Back in the day, kids would walk or ride bikes everywhere. Today, it is very rare to see anyone walking. Most people drive, even if the trip is only 3-4 blocks from home. There is a lot of overindulgence these days.

Many townspeople would grab guns and shoot anyone who tried to take the game of football from Paxton. People get seriously injured in football all the time. I guess sledding on a hill has been proven to be more dangerous, especially given the fact that Paxton no longer has a hospital to handle all the trauma cases from snowball fights and overturned sleds.

The only remaining fun hills in town are at the I-57 overpass. This is where my family would go sledding years ago. It was a blast!

I sincerely doubt kids these days would want to walk out there. I also doubt their parents would let them. My parents took us there!

I feel very fortunate to have had the childhood I had here in Paxton (1969-83). We even had a seesaw and merry-go-round!