Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce faces big bill

Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce is facing a big bill for liability insurance to cover six days of Golden Days events.

The chamber has received just one rate quote: $11,000 for the event later this month that includes a parade and a Chena River rubber duck race.

The amount is almost six times as much as last year's insurance premium of $1,800, said Kara Moriarity, the chamber's executive director.

''We are working with our insurance agent to get that number down,'' Moriarity said.

The insurance company that offered the $11,000 quote didn't specifically cite last year's death of a teen-age boy during the Golden Days Parade as the reason for a high premium, Moriarity said.

David Lee Truex, 15, was crushed under the wheel of a semi-truck that was pulling a large float during the parade. Truex was reportedly jumping off the semi's step when he tripped and fell beneath the wheel of the truck. He was killed instantly. The boy's mother has filed a wrongful death suit against the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce.

Moriarity said insurance has been hard to find and costly because of the events of Sept. 11. Other community event organizers say their liability insurance has risen sharply this year, too.

Moriarity said the insurance problem should be resolved in a day or two. And even if the bill isn't lowered by much, the chamber will be able to pay it and Golden Days will go on.

In addition to a parade and the rubber duck race, Golden Days features the Red Green River Regatta, a street fair, a beer festival, the nightly performances of the Golden Heart Dancers and a roving Golden Days Jail.

This year's parade is scheduled for July 20 at 10 a.m. The parade has been a Fairbanks event for over 50 years, and has been organized by the chamber for at least 40 of those years, Moriarity said.

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