December 18, 2008

Washburn Park Board responds to recent $5,000 fine

By Danielle Abbott

The Washburn Park Board has been tossed into the media spotlight lately, not only in our community but also throughout the state when a recent infraction caused the board to be fined $5,000. "This past summer we had the privilege of receiving a visit from the Federal Labor Department and were informed after an inquiry that we were in violation of some of the labor laws, of which we did not know we were in violation," said Todd Schreiner, a Washburn Park Board member. One of the violations occurred when the Wage and Hour Division found three employees under age 16 working past 9 p.m. "As many of you know," Schreiner said, "Our pool is open until 9 p.m. each evening. Sometimes they (the employees) did not leave until 10 to 15 minutes after 9 p.m." Another violation occurred when three employees under the age of 18 were found to have regularly driven a truck with lawn care equipment, and rode a lawnmower on public property. The safety became an issue with the size and weight of the vehicles in question. Schreiner explained, " Our park employees drove a vehicle which weighs approximately 8,000 pounds. We were in violation as they were not supposed to be in a vehicle over 6,000 pounds." "We have several parks scattered throughout the town which made for the park board employees to drive the lawn mowers to the various parks," Schreiner continued, "They drove on public roads which also put us in violation."

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