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2017-04-19 / Front Page

Citizens seek council help in latest Snead meeting

by Jim Kilgore

Despite the routine nature of much of the meeting, three residents requested help from the Snead Town Council at the body's most recent session. Former council candidate Trey Christian asked members to consider various options to assist him and the other estimated 40 to 50 residents of Lee Ridge Drive.

The council had repeatedly contended developer Terry Stover failed to follow regular procedures in both constructing the road and in filing for the town to accept the road as its property. The seven-year-long controversy has seen residents plead with several councils for help.

Christian spoke calmly, asking councilors to examine possible options through the state, grants, and construction cost estimates for resolving the deteriorating situation. He noted he did not expect an immediate response but begged for council assistance. Ben Osborne, another Lee Ridge resident also on the council agenda, declined his opportunity to speak beyond endorsing Christian's speech.

Betsy Tuck, next on the agenda, asked the council to consider establishing a soccer league for area youth. Mayor La'Shone Price and councilors Greg Ogles and Phillip McHan questioned Tuck for more details. Ogles, who serves as the council's liaison for park and recreation matters, expressed interest in the possibility of the league and a willingness to meet with Tuck and others who share her interest.

Frank Cannan with local disabled American veterans asked for council help in his organization's efforts to establish a veterans' memorial in the county. He invited members to attend a meeting later that week to consider possible future steps toward the project.

As the session moved to council reports, Councilman Dale Snead questioned the use of city employees to sweep state and federal highways at the town crossroads. He held that the roads are not town responsibilities and the actions threatened the safety of the workers.

Price responded that he had ordered the work, along with the spraying of herbicide, because of the unsightly appearance in the stop sign islands. He contended the workers had adequate protection.

Ogles opined that officials should call the state the next time "we need something like this done."

Price offered that the question was a matter for the state ethics commission. "Y'all can't interfere with the way I direct town employees,” he said.

Shifting topics, Ogles then spoke of his anger over a second disconnection of a town refrigerator-freezer in a ball park concession. Under questioning he revealed that the action spoiled items stored there and had to have occurred by someone who knew the combination of the lock on the door. He promised to take action once officials identify any perpetrator(s).

Speaking of a similar criminal trespass, Price advised councilors of the discovery of persons who had breached a fence at one of the town water towers, scaled the tower, and had taken photographs atop it. He said police had spoken sternly with the trespassers and assured them of potentially more serious consequences for any similar action.

He reported that the group had telephoned town officials more than once to express their appreciation for leniency and to promise no similar future act. The council discussed installing a bottom pole on the fence to discourage other would-be intruders.

In the more routine actions, the council approved the town's 2016 audit, agreed to purchase more than $6,500 in police cruiser and body cameras, provide a Republic Service dumpster for the regular April PALS clean-up campaign, continue its purchase of two tables at $200 each for the annual RSVP dinner, seek quotes for a new boring machine to replace the one recently lost in use under a state highway, contract for maintenance for the fire department's new extraction tool, and adopt the Municipal Water Pollution Prevention resolution proposed to the town at its last regular meeting on March 13. Price and town clerk Rae Ware advised councilors of the $3,100 charges for a new computer and telephone line approved in a prior session for new part-time office employee Jennifer Adams.

The council recessed into executive session for updates by town attorney Brett King on town litigation. King promised there would be no action following the session.

Councilors Tim Kent and Ann Sullins joined Price, Kent, McHan, and Ogles for the April 10 meeting. The council had not met for its regularly scheduled meeting on March 27 due to the threat of possible inclement weather. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the town community center.

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