Snead again hears complaints by water customer

Snead water customer Shirley Brown pressed the Snead Town Council to consider refunding more than $500 she contends she is owed for water lost in a leak. Brown and her husband Jim, who was unable to attend the Jan. 23 meeting, received notice of a possible leak last summer. The couple claims they acted immediately to address the problem and have paid the two bills they received which covered the period of the leak.

Their request addresses their complaint that the town failed to notify them once a water department employee first suspected the problem. They have argued that they should not be responsible for the approximate five days of usage between the time of the town’s questioning of a possible problem and the Browns’ receipt of the mailed inquiry. The additional charges covered in two bills exceeded $1,800.

Brown claimed the council has failed to respond to her requests. Water supervisor Jeff Whited questioned Brown’s estimated figure on water used. Brown insisted she had computed the usage as Whited had explained it to her previously.

Mayor pro-tem Charles Sanders and councilor Curtis Painter stated they had not received information Brown alleged that absent Mayor Tim Kent had shared with her and felt they needed to delay any action until they could speak with Kent.

Brown’s comments came after the council had moved and voted to adjourn its regular Jan. 23 meeting. In the meeting, the council authorized several expenditures while receiving updates on other matters.

They acceded to requests from the police department to outfit a returned Chevrolet Tahoe with more than $900 in equipment. They also authorized more than $300 in lodging costs for chief Phillip Weaver to attend the annual police chief’s conference.

Whited asked the council’s wishes on continuing its usual $1000 contribution to the annual Ground Water Festival for county fourth-grade students. The council agreed to that.

Whited also announced that town engineer Robert Nelson had written that the well the town had hoped to use as an additional water source does not meet state requirements. Whited said the next step for the town, if it wishes to continue a search, would be to hire a geologist at an estimated cost of more than $20,000. With two council members absent, those attending decided to delay consideration.

The council also decided to delay a request for sales-tax abatement by a planned local business until more members were present. Councilors agreed to advertise for a water clerk position, opened with the resignation of Kim Poss.

Jack Freeman missed the meeting as did Kent. Councilors James Campbell and Phillip McHan joined Sanders and Painter for the session. The council holds its regular meetings the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the town community center.