Snead considers body cameras for its police

Councilman Dale Snead quizzed police Chief Phillip Weaver on costs to equip his officers with body cameras at the latest Snead Town Council meeting. Weaver estimated the cost at around $400 per camera.

Snead theorized that three cameras and chargers would cover department needs. He, Weaver, and other council members avowed the wisdom of having the cameras.

Snead’s question came after Weaver, in his regular report, sought and won approval for $6,000 in additions to the newly ordered police cruiser. The additional expenses are for $5,547 for lights and other devices on the interceptor. The remainder should cover outside graphics.

Mayor Curtis Painter revealed that local businessman Alan Smith had contacted him expressing interest in purchasing remaining land in the town’s industrial park. Painter said he would explore Smith’s plans for the estimated 39 acres and update the council.

The council returned to previously tabled concerns of town insurers – Alabama Municipal Insurance Corporation (AMIC) – and workers compensation. Town clerk Rae Ware detailed three key areas of concern: 1) annual training on sexual harassment, 2) a written cell phone policy, and 3) clarification of what constitutes “an acceptable driving record.”

Snead proposed possession of a valid Alabama driver’s license in addressing the last matter. Painter won assent from Councilman, and sheriff’s deputy, Tim Kent to conduct annual employee sexual harassment classes to meet the first concern.

The council reached no conclusion on the cell phone issue. Ware explained that town auditor Lori Criswell had sought clarification on that matter based on new ethics commission guidelines. The commission views personal use of town provided cell phones as an economic benefit which faces a tax liability and/or additional regulation.

Utilities director Jeff Whited reported a planned demonstration by a company with a new pipe locator machine. He noted his department has had some problems with its present equipment and that the new machine should allow the department to map the entire system with its built-in GPS capability. He indicated he has no knowledge on equipment costs.

Asked of the town’s ordered trencher, Whited explained he is still awaiting its arrival. He emphasized that the company will receive no payment until the town receives the equipment.

Councilors continued to express concern over road safety. Snead won approval to purchase “Stop Ahead” signs for Lurleen Drive and county road 14 which intersect with Ala 75. He and other councilors have considered adding rumble strips to those roads which have been the sites of several wrecks.

Snead also asked for information on final road striping at the new Walmart location. Councilman Greg Ogles noted the need for additional lighting at that business entrance. Painter agreed to check further on those concerns.

In a park and recreation matter, Ogles offered to get quotes for repair work on town pavilions. He had noted the arrival of a new gazebo and the need to update existing facilities.

Remaining councilors Phillip McHan and Charles Sanders joined Snead, Painter, Kent, and Ogles for the Dec. 22 meeting. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the town community center.