The Harlan Tourism and Convention Commission discussed a variety of issues during a special-called meeting on Tuesday including the upcoming Mountain Masters Festival and safety issues for the staff of the Harlan Center.
Tourism Director Brandon Pennington updated the panel on a number of subjects, beginning with the Mountain Masters Festival.
According to Pennington, all of the vendors who attended last year’s event have been invited back, and eleven have responded so far saying they will be taking part. One food vendor has committed, and two demonstrators have turned in applications. Plans for a one-mile run and a 5K run are being made, as well as rules and guidelines for a Christmas tree and wreath decoration contest.
The board then addressed some safety issues for the staff around the Harlan Center.
“We’ve had a few incidents that have occurred here at the Harlan Center in the last week while I was gone to the KTIA (Kentucky Travel Industry Association) conference,” said Pennington. “I’ve become a little concerned about the safety of the staff while they’re here by themselves.”
Pennington mentioned he has already spoken to Harlan City Police Chief Mike Thomas about the issue.
“I talked to Mike Thomas to see if he would be willing to teach a class on workplace safety as well as teach us the safe usage of pepper spray,” said Pennington. “I would like to get pepper spray for the staff to keep with them when they’re here by themselves.”
After some discussion, the commission agreed with the proposal provided the staff is trained by the HPD in the proper use of pepper spray.
In other commission activity:
• The panel decided to restock Justified T-shirts, ordering 100;
• The commission approved attendance at the 2016 RV and Boat Show in Lexington on Feb. 11 through Feb. 14.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde