Harlan Council talks ATVs, sidewalks

Published 4:00 pm Friday, June 16, 2023

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The Harlan City Council held their regular meeting for June recently, hearing an update on allowing off-road vehicles on city streets.

Mayor Joe Meadors addressed the topic at the top of the meeting.

“About a year and a half ago, I brought to your attention there was going to be a pilot program in state government to allow ATVs to travel your city streets,” Meadors said. “We talked about that over the course of two or three meetings, but we never did take any action.”

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According to Meadors, the council did not support allowing ATVs on city streets.

“We have an individual in town, and I’m sure there will be other individuals in town that are riding their side by sides (ATVs) all over town,” Meadors said. “They’re going to the grocery store in them. They’re going to the bank, and this and that. So, it’s not casual. It’s not that they’re going on a trail ride up Ivy Hill or somewhere, they’re getting on the bypass and crossing the bypass, which in my opinion is very dangerous.”

Meadors pointed out ATVs are not regulated or licensed.

“This individual is a little upset that we won’t allow that to happen,” Meadors said. “So, at some point, I expect that to be brought back up to the council.”

Meadors noted cities can regulate ATV operation on city streets.

“I can just tell you we need to be careful about doing it,” Meadors said. “I’ve had some issues over in Fairview. Ninety percent of them do the right thing…but then you have those that go overboard, and we’ve had some issues.”

Meadors asked the council to think about the issue.

“At some point, I’m sure this individual will be contacting individual council members, which is his right, and you certainly have the right to discuss it with him,” Meadors said. “I just want to caution that we better be careful before we let (ATVs) on the streets.”

Meadors also updated the council on a project involving the city’s sidewalks, advising a bid for the work has been accepted.

“We had two bidders,” Meadors said. “I will tell you the difference between the two bids was remarkable. One bid was for $730,205.21. The other bid was for $400,104.”

Meadors mentioned there was approximately a $330,000 difference in the bids.

“The low bidder was Extreme Designs,” Meadors said. “I ask for the permission of the council to sign any and all documents.”

Council member Ann Hensley inquired about the duration of the project.

“I’d say it will take most of the summer,” Meadors said. “One good thing this is a local company, and it keeps local people working.”

Following some discussion, the council approved the bid, passing a motion authorizing the mayor to sign any and all documents related to the project.