Snead council and developer reach accord on Lee Ridge Drive

Following a pre-council work/discussion session of more than an hour, the Snead Town Council endorsed an agreement offered by Mayor Tim Kent.

Attorneys Scott McPherson for the town and John McLaughlin representing developer Terry Stover had presented arguments supporting each side’s position. Engineers Robert Nelson, for Snead, and John Hyde, for Stover, also exchanged statements, while a few of Lee Ridge Drive residents added questions or concerns.

Kent’s proposal requires Stover to improve the drive’s surface and drainage to a point agreeable to both engineers. Once Nelson approves the road’s base, the town will accept the road and tar and gravel it. Stover asked for assurances that the town will accept the road if he does the satisfactory work. In the resolution, the two attorneys have in addition to the engineers pledged to cooperate.

Attorney Pam Daniel, representing resident A.J. Blethen, asked the council to set a time limit. All involved expressed belief an intention letter could be ready for the next Sept. 12 meeting. Council actions

Councilors passed a resolution endorsing construction of the so-called northern beltline, connecting ends of the present I-459 southern beltway around Birmingham. Many project that completion will spur considerable growth along its path and into Blount County.

With councilman Jack Freeman dissenting, members failed to suspend their rules in order to adopt another resolution to apply for a federal grant for purchase of emergency generators and a weather shelter. Freeman expressed his opposition to the shelter application. Failing to suspend the rules, the council must wait at least until its next meeting to consider the application request.

Freeman also sought permission to counter with $40,000 for two acres previously offered for purchase at $55,000. Kent asked Freeman to meet with the owner and discuss possible terms.

The remaining council members ( James Campbell, Phillip McHan, Curtis Painter, and Charles Sanders) joined Kent and Freeman for both sessions. A few dozen Oneonta High School seniors attended the work session with a couple dozen present for the regular meeting. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the town community center. Members have scheduled another work session for 6:30 p.m. before the next meeting.