Harlan council considers volunteer program

Published 10:20 am Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Harlan City Council discusses a number of topics during their regular meeting, including hearing a proposal from a member of the public requesting the council’s support for a volunteer program to complete work around the city.

Mayor Joe Meadors called Eddie Forester before the council shortly after calling the meeting to order.

“What I am proposing is that you approve a volunteer program – and I will be glad to help coordinate that,” Forester said.

Forester asked the council about providing resources necessary to complete the cleaning projects the volunteers would perform.

Meadors asked the council to consider the proposition.

“There’s no doubt that we cannot do all that needs to be done with city employees,” Meadors said. “There’s too much work to be done with the few employees we have. I think if it’s done right, it could be an asset to this community, I think it could allow us to mow and trim and cut and clean up some unsightly areas…my only hesitancy in doing this would be liability on the city’s part.”

Meadors explained any volunteers would be under the direction of the city.

“They’ll have to be part of a coordinated effort.” Meadors said.

Forester inquired if a volunteer program would be covered under the city’s insurance.

“We’re going to have to get with our insurance carrier,” Meadors said. “I do know general liability insurance does include volunteer help, but I think for them to be covered I think those people would have to be approved by the council.”

Meodors directed Harlan City Attorney Karen Davenport to research the possibility of covering volunteers under the city’s insurance.

“We’ll check on that…and get back with you,” Meadors said. “I don’t see us going any further until that question is answered.”

Meadors stated if the insurance questions could be worked out, the program could be a positive thing for the city. He mentioned the city may be able to provide a meal for any volunteers while they were working.