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Mayor: Logjam will pay $10K deductible for Ogren Park field damage

Posted: 1:13 PM, Feb 11, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-11 16:31:50-05
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MISSOULA — Members of the Missoula City Council on Monday briefly debated a $10,000 deductible owed by the city as part of a damage claim at Ogren Park before a majority voted to pay the fee.

Turns out the debate wasn’t necessary.

On Tuesday morning, Missoula Mayor John Engen sent an email to council members saying that Logjam Presents, who leases the municipal stadium for summer concerts, will pay the $10,000 deductible.

“Because of my absence at last night’s meeting, I wasn’t able to communicate the fact that Logjam Presents will be paying the deductible on the property insurance claim resulting from field damage last summer after the Mumford & Sons concert,” Engen wrote. “Logjam volunteered to pay the deductible before ever being asked.”

Last summer, a torrential downpour hit before the concert at Ogren Park. The soggy field sustained damage from thousands of concert-goers, resulting in the cancellation of several Missoula Osprey baseball games.

The city’s insurer, MMIA, covered the $35,000 bill while the city owed $10,000 on the deductible, which a majority of council members voted to pay on Monday night.

But three members of the City Council voted against paying the deductible. Led by Jesse Ramos, they argued that Logjam and not the city should be responsible for the cost.

Ramos said Tuesday that no one on the council knew Monday night that Logjam had agreed to cover the deductible. He called the lack of information an oversight.

“Had we known that, it would have changed everything,” Ramos said Tuesday. “It was definitely an oversight, but I think it’s noble that Logjam is stepping up to take care of this.”

Built in 2004, Ogren Park is owned by the city of Missoula and had been under lease to Mountain Baseball, owners of the Missoula Osprey, for $120,000 per year. But the lease proved burdensome and baseball alone couldn’t pay the bill, threatening future use of the facility.

As part of a deal reached with the city, Logjam agreed to pay $70,000 annually for use of the stadium for a handful of summer shows while Mountain Baseball paid $40,000 a year. The combined agreement covered the city’s debt service.

“I was very much in support of Logjam doing that contract to help us out with the debt service, but at the end of the day, I didn’t want us to pay that $10,000,” Ramos said. “I’m glad that it’s resolved now and the taxpayers aren’t going to have to pay for that.”