Harlan City Council discuses sidewalk paving program amid rise in material costs

Published 4:36 pm Monday, April 17, 2023

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The Harlan City Council discussed multiple ongoing projects during the panel’s regular meeting for April, including work on various city sidewalks that have faced delays.

Harlan City Mayor Joe Meadors brought the topic up to the council shortly after calling the meeting to order.

“We continue to work on our sidewalk project,” Meadors said. “We’re getting closer every day. Hopefully, we’ll be able to go to bid in the next four or five weeks.”

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Meadors also brought the council up to speed on the cost of asphalt.

“At the last meeting, I brought you up to date on the asphalt bid we received from Mountain Enterprises,” Meadors said. “It was considerably higher than it was last year. That means we’ll be able to pave less than we did last year and the year before that.”

According to Meadors, the milling price has increased from approximately $40 per ton to $60 per ton.

“We have to do that (milling),” Meadors said. “That’s going to hurt us some, but we’re just going to have to deal with it.”

Meadors informed the council the Mountain Enterprises bid was the only bid received.

“About three years ago, we did use Willis out of Tazewell, Tennessee,” Meadors said. “They chose not to submit a bid the following year or this year. I can understand it. That’s a long way to truck asphalt.”

Meadors said he intends to research other options.

“I’m going to check into whoever does the paving in Lee County,” Meadors said. “It’s a little bit shorter trip. We do get all of our stone from Woodway Stone, and they can deliver it here considerably cheaper than we can get it six miles up the road.”

Meadors explained the city would search for cheaper options.

“We are going to try and see if we can get a lower bid,” Meadors told the council. “If not, we’ll just have to go with Mountain Enterprises.”

Meadors then asked City Attorney Karen Davenport to update the council on an issue impacting fire insurance rates.

Davenport explained she has been attempting to contact the representative from Insurance Services Office (ISO) concerning an increase in the city’s fire insurance rates.

“I attempted to contact (ISO representative) Cassandra Corn,” Davenport said. “I sent an email, and in the email, I said both our fire chief and our mayor were interested in a meeting, but we were not able to get a return contact. Nothing. We haven’t heard a word from her.”

Davenport noted she has also attempted to reach a member of management at Verisk, the company of which ISO is a part.

“I was looking for a supervisor, someone above her, so I could tell them this is extremely important to our citizens, and we can’t even get a returned email,” Davenport said.

Davenport told the council she would continue her efforts.

“We’re going to continue to work on it,” Meadors said.