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City will clarify its ban on allowing its property like tables and chairs to be used privately

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OGDENSBURG — The city will clarify its ban on allowing its property, like picnic tables and chairs, to be used on private land.

The City Council agreed Monday that items like picnic tables, chairs and trash barrels should be loaned for family, social and civic events only if the events are held on municipal properties like city parks. Private property as a setting is out.

Deputy Mayor Michael D. Morley questioned the Parks and Recreation Department lending three picnic tables in July to the annual Founders Day celebration on privately owned Lighthouse Point. At the same time, private citizens — himself included — aren’t allowed the same courtesy.

“Everybody should be treated the same,” he said. “You lend them out or you don’t lend them out.”

Councilor Wayne L. Ashley agreed: “If one person can’t use them, then no one should be able to use them.”

Parks and Recreation Director Matthew J. Curatolo’s office already has a system in place. Thirty-one picnic tables and numerous trash barrels are available for the asking as long as the event is held in a city park or on city property like the Maple City Trail.

There have been 31 such requests this summer alone.

“It happens quite a bit,” Mr. Curatolo said.

The Founders Day request, he added, was approved because the event was part of the city-affiliated Seaway Festival.

Mayor William D. Nelson said there was a time when loaned city-owned picnic tables and chairs would come back broken or otherwise damaged.

The mayor is also concerned about the legal consequences of personal injury involving city-owned furniture on private property.

“We’re a litigious society,” Mr. Nelson said.

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