RANDOLPH — A donation from a Massachusetts insurance executive means that American flags can go back up on utility poles in this riverfront town in time for the Fourth of July.

Plans to mark Randolph’s transportation corridors with flags for the summer were derailed when volunteers learned the town lacked the liability coverage required by the owners of the poles – Central Maine Power and FairPoint Communications. And the flags that had gone up had to come down.

Jim Kimball, who has spearheaded the project with the Randolph Fire Association, said he received a call Wednesday from Roy Solomon, president of Amity Insurance in North Quincy, Massachusetts, who said he was sending a check by express mail to cover the cost of the $500 insurance rider needed for the $5 million in liability insurance the utility companies require for anyone who wants to attach anything to their poles.

“It surprised the crap out of me,” Kimball said. “It’s tough to believe there are still people like this out there.”

Solomon, via email, said Thursday he had seen an online version of the story in an insurance journal and thought it would be a shame if the flags were not up for the Fourth of July.

“Because of the fear of being sued and the cost of litigation, everyone is afraid to do things that might get them sued,” Solomon said. “People won’t stop to help someone in need because they’re afraid. People stopped getting involved when they see bad behavior. So when given the opportunity to make a difference, I see it as an opportunity and I’m grateful to be able to help. Please ask people to watch the movie ‘Pay it Forward,’ and follow the model.”

The movie, released in 2000, details a goodwill networking movement developed by an 11-year-old boy as a project for his social studies class.

Jessica Lowell can be contacted at 621-5632 or at:

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