Wittenberg opens village parks to community

Miriam Nelson
News Editor

WITTENBERG — After a spirited debate, the Wittenberg Village Board voted 6-1 on June 3 in favor of opening all the parks and restrooms.

Casey Long, a business owner in Wittenberg, asked the board what kind of legal implications they would face if they opened the parks.

Trustee Dave Timm said that the insurance would not cover the village if anyone could prove they contracted COVID-19 while attending the parks, but that it would be very hard for someone to be able to prove that.

Trustee Paul Yaeger said he felt people should be allowed to decide for themselves whether they want to spend time in the parks. He felt the fewer restrictions the village placed on park usage would minimize liability to the village, and there would be no way to enforce any restrictions.

Village clerk Traci Matsche said the city of Wausau has signs in their parks saying they haven’t been sanitized, and that patrons would be using the equipment at their own risk.

Timm also brought up concerns from Larry Stark with the village maintenance department about contracting the virus while cleaning the restrooms.

According to Matsche, many of the baseball teams have decided against playing this summer, but it is still important to coordinate reservations for use through her office.

The board voted to open the parks and restrooms, put up proper signage and purchase protective personal equipment for Stark. Village President William Switalla voted against the motion due to his concern for the general health of those who use the parks.