A junior football team’s request to use Davis Field for their home games has been suspended by the Vandergrift Council due to liability concerns.
The Kiski Valley Lancers asked the board for permission to use the field for games, which they had done in the past.
However, when they used the field previously, the maintenance of the field and stadium was done by the Kiski Area School District. The district did this as part of its agreement with the borough to use the land for Kiski Area home football games.
It started in 1962 and continued until the last game of the 2017 high school football season. In 2018, this arrangement ended when the Kiski Area Cavaliers began playing their home games in the new on-campus stadium built by the school district.
Borough Manager Steve DelleDonne said the borough has not performed any maintenance on Davis Field since then.
Attorney Larry Loperfito said he sees this as a major issue, with the borough granting anyone permission to use the land.
“It’s the state of the property, the fact that we had no control over the maintenance of this facility,” Loperfito told the council. “Davis Field has not been maintained. There has been no detailed inspection of the stands and grounds.
Loperfito said the council could grant permission to use the pitch but would take an unnecessary risk if someone was injured there.
“You expose yourself to financial liability,” he said.
After some discussion, the board agreed to grant the other part of the Lancers’ request, giving them permission to practice at Kennedy Park. He refrained from allowing them to play games at Davis Field, referring this to the council’s General Government Committee for further discussion.
This could, however, only be temporary.
“We’re not saying we’re denying them use, it’s just that we’re trying to get our ducks online,” Councilman Tom Holmes said.