Mayor not convinced about high ropes adventure course in Aurora

by MIKE LESKO | REPORTER Published:

Aurora -- The chances of a high ropes challenge course coming to Aurora appear to have lessened.

"I am not yet convinced that the GoApe adventure course is an appropriate option for Sunny Lake Park," Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin said March 21, "and some in the public have voiced concerns as well.

"We have to determine whether this is something we want to add as an activity at Sunny Lake, taking into consideration the impact this might have on the character of the park," she said. "In addition, the law director [Dean DePiero] and I are reviewing liability and contractual issues which have to be resolved."

At Aurora's recreation advisory committee meeting Feb. 17, Parks-Recreation Director Jim Kraus talked about the possibility of GoApe, which has six locations, coming to the city, perhaps this year. Kraus stressed that a contract still needed to be signed and that City Council would have to OK the idea.

"The recreation advisory committee brings ideas to the city for consideration, and that is valuable to our programming," Womer Benjamin said. "However, those ideas still have to be researched by staff and supported by the mayor and City Council before being implemented. I also appreciate input from the public."

One of the potential hurdles may involve legalities.

Womer Benjamin said DePiero "has recommended a variety of changes to the proposed contract to protect the city with respect to potential liability and other matters, all of which would have to be approved by GoApe."

Dan D'Agostino, GoApe U.S.A. managing director, said the firm "is currently in contract negotiations with Aurora and, as in every potential partnership, there are some matters on both sides that need to be resolved."

Council holds the key to the project. If it doesn't OK the contract, the project would not proceed.

The course, if it materializes, would be in the trees on the northeast side of Sunny Lake, according to Kraus, who said people would zipline from one spot to another.

Kraus said GoApe would charge admission, but the city would benefit from it on a percentage basis that has not yet been determined.

Email: mlesko@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187

Facebook: facebook.com/mike.lesko.378

Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC

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