The Twin Lakes Cave Conservation and Survey Task Force wants to clean out debris and tires from a cave on Old Bardstown Road in Cave City.
Officials with the organization recently asked for the city’s permission to clean up the cave, but haven’t yet been given the go-ahead due to liability concerns.
Jon Durall, director of the task force, told city officials at Cave City Council meeting this week that he asks anyone who volunteers for the organization’s cave clean-up projects to sign a liability waiver.
“It’s a standard waiver that protects the land owner, which is the city. [The land owner] is not held responsible for any accident or injury, dismemberment or death that could occur in any type of activity or work that is to be done,” Durall said. “It’s your standard limited liability waiver and we have everybody to sign it before we start a project.”
The waiver is part of Kentucky cave laws, which Durall said he gave copies of to Cave City Police Chief Jeff Wright.
City attorney Bobby Richardson asked for a copy of the state laws as well.
“I suggest before the council takes any action that you give those documents to me and let me review them,” he said. “They [the city council] can make a decision at the next meeting.”
The L&N Cave, according to Durall’s research, is home to quite a bit of history.
“It used to be the old source of water for the railroad system and for the city from 1859 up to the 1920s and 1930s. That was the information I was able to find so far,” Durall said. “It was also used for the drought of 1862 when Morgan’s Raiders came through and hijacked two trains in Cave City.”
The cave is also home to wildlife – blind crayfish specifically.
A fence surrounds the cave to keep people out, but a structure that once protected it is in disrepair and some of the timbers have collapsed.
Creosote from the timbers is leaching into the cave, which affects the cave’s environment, he said.
“If we do have your permission to work on this project, we would like to get the city involved with some volunteer people and we have several other organizations in the community who would like to be a part of this project,” Durall said.
Volunteers with the Green River Grotto and the Louisville Grotto are among those who hope to work with Twin Lakes on the project.
“We’re not asking to be paid or anything like that, but maybe a few odd-and-end resources from time to time when needed,” he said.
Richardson said he would review the liability waiver and state cave laws and get back to the city council, which can make a decision on the matter at their next council meeting.
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