Harlan’s board discusses insurance rates
Published 12:33 Thursday, March 23, 2023
Harlan City Council discussed the issue of increasing in-town fire insurance rates during its regular panel meeting for March.
Mayor Joe Meadors updated the council on the matter soon after the start of the meeting.
“Our fire insurance rating went up,” Meadors said. “We have discussed this with (Harlan City Fire) Chief James Billings, and he has told me probably in December that they have been notified that the ISO (Office of Insurance Services) has put out a report, and there are a few things in there that we will compete.”
According to Meadors, the report pointed to deficiencies in the city, including a lack of maintenance of fire hydrants. However, not all hydrants can be maintained by the city government.
“One of the flaws in the report is that we didn’t maintain a fire hydrant… at the Village Center,” Meadors said. “Well, it’s not ours… It’s not our responsibility.”
Billings verified there are approximately 260 water hydrants within Harlan’s city limits.
“That’s a lot of water hydrants,” Meadors said.
Meadors asked Billings to compile a list of the locations of all the city’s hydrants.
“I want a list of all the hydrants in the town of Harlan, where they are,” said Meadors. “Then we’ll know where we stand.”
Meadors said the city intends to challenge some of the items in the report but attempts to contact ISO representatives have been unsuccessful.
“Long and short, we can’t get this woman to call us back,” Meadors said. “Meanwhile, insurance rates will increase starting October 1.”
Meadors pointed out that rates could not be changed immediately.
Board member Ann Hensley suggested that rates be changed annually.
Meadors said he would make additional efforts to contact ISO representatives to discuss the report.
“This went into effect in October. We’ve been doing this for almost six months,” said Meadors. “Before you know it, it will be time for the next tariffs, so we need to get this straight quickly.”
Councilor Jeff Phillips suggested City Attorney Karen Davenport contact an ISO representative on the city’s behalf.
“Call him tomorrow and let me know where he stands,” Meadors said.
Meadors said the rising costs were impacting people who owned homes or businesses in Harlan.
“That is unacceptable,” Meadors said. “We will discuss this.”