Judge grants Snead summary judgment on subdivision road dispute

Circuit Judge Steven King issued a summary judgment for the Town of Snead in a longstanding dispute with local residents over ownership of Lee Ridge Drive. Charles David Wise had sued the town seeking relief from the deteriorating condition of that road. Residents contended they were led to believe the road was maintained by the town. The town council, as early as the spring of 2010, emphasized through its then-attorney Alex Smith that the road had never been accepted by the town. Because of that, Smith noted, the town could not legally work on the road since it was private property.

King’s four sentence decision, issued Jan. 29, found for the town. Current town attorney Brett King, in attendance at this week’s regular council meeting, advised councilors that the plaintiff had 30 days from the ruling to file for reconsideration and another 12 days beyond that to appeal the judgment.

In other business, utilities department director Jeff Whited advised the council of the sale of a trencher declared surplus for $7,814 on the govdeals.com website. He reported contractors had installed another 100 radio-read water meters, leaving his department with 11 on standby.

In reporting installation of poles for new lighting at the town softball and baseball fields, Whited sought direction on disposition of the old poles. He told members that he and town clerk Rae Ware had received several calls from people wishing to purchase them. After some discussion, councilors rescinded the prior meeting motion to place the poles and other old lighting equipment on the govdeals site.

Members suggested pricing guidelines on the poles, directing Whited and Mayor Curtis Painter to obtain the best prices they believe appropriate. Councilman and Alabama Power employee Dale Snead noted that some of the replaced transformers cannot be sold due to hazardous materials or other problems. He identified ways to evaluate those and urged that the town have the present installers dispose of them. In discussing the old lights themselves, councilors agreed to contact nearby towns to see if any had use for them, before pursuing other alternatives.

Police chief Alan Hicks announced the new police vehicle should be ready for pick up the next day. In response to a question of selling the old vehicle, Hicks explained it would need a bumper replacement after a recent accident. Councilman Charles Sanders recommended the town replace the bumper before placing it for sale.

Fire chief Lee Netherton won approval for service on his department’s extractor tool. The annual service, quoted presently at $450, keeps the equipment in warranty.

Councilors agreed to their usual purchase of two $100 tables at the annual county Retired Senior Volunteers Program banquet. Painter announced the resignation of town chamber of commerce representative Debra Clem and urged councilors to consider possible replacements.

King reported on a state provision which would allow the town’s municipal court to collect fines from a defendant and/or costs from their state income tax filings. He promised to pursue further information on that.

He also advised the council of two videotaped disruptive incidents at the town’s municipal court, which had resulted in jail time for the offenders. He reported he had done a preliminary reading of the town’s model dog ordinance and would have further comments on it by the town’s next regular council meeting.

Councilman Tim Kent missed the Feb. 22 session, attended by other councilors Phillip McHan, Greg Ogles, Sanders, Snead, Mayor Painter, observers, the press, and those named above. The council holds its regular meetings the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the town community center.