Should city require businesses to carry liability insurance?

Steve Moscinski speaks at last week's city council meeting in Evanston.

EVANSTON — Two items of interest to local residents were the focus of discussion at the Evanston City Council work session on Tuesday, Feb. 23. 

Steve Moscinski addressed the council and said he was worried that many small businesses in Evanston have not purchased liability insurance. As a result, he said, the public, employees and customers could be put at risk. 

“I am not presenting this because I sell insurance,” Moscinski, a Mountain West Farm Bureau agent, said. “It just makes sense that we want to protect the public as well as the business owner and employees. What if someone ... [were] to fall on the ice in front of a store and that owner had no insurance? The repercussions could be far reaching because the injured could end up suing the building owner and possibly the city. When we purchase a vehicle on credit we have to show proof of insurance.”

Moscinski said he had been checking on what other towns and cities in Wyoming require and found that many do require businesses to show proof of liability insurance when they purchase a new business license or when obtaining a renewal. He said the city should also check on existing businesses and require them to show proof of liability insurance within 30 days.

“This is an interesting matter, and we need to discuss it,” Mayor Kent Williams said. “In order to implement it, an ordinance would need to be drawn up and put on the agenda for a vote at a regular meeting. This might take some time, and we appreciate you bringing this to our attention.”

Dustin Matthews, chair of the Evanston Cowboy Days Committee then addressed the council with an update on plans for the 85th annual celebration this year.

“I made a request for the $15,000 in funding in a letter,” Matthews said, “but wanted to tell you about a few things we have planned. We will be having a concert on Friday night at the rodeo arena, the Ned LeDoux band — he is Chris LeDoux’ son and very popular. This concert will be big, and we will need some security support for that and two guards at the rodeo. I have two other requests for assistance.”

Matthews said they would like to have the use of an eight-passenger van to provide transportation for the band from their hotel to the rodeo grounds and downtown. He said David Welling had already offered to be the band’s escort.

Another request from Matthews was for use of the golf carts at Purple Sage Golf Course to shuttle people from parking lots to the rodeo grounds and back to their vehicles. He said parking is always a problem and the golf carts would add safety and decrease stress during events.

“We are really excited that Cowboy Days has been chosen by the Cowboy TV Channel as a headliner. We will be shown live on Friday and Saturday. The added $3,000 on our request for funding this year is to pay for the TV advertising,” Matthews said.

Matthews suggested the city put together a promotional ad and the channel would show it, as well, at no extra cost. He said the committee is also planning an ATV rally during Cowboy Days weekend and Matthews is working with Mark Tesoro of Southwest Wyoming Off-road Trails (SWOT) to coordinate with that group.

Williams told Matthews they would see what they could do on his requests and get back to him.

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