Snead discusses $1.5 million for roads, hires part-time town hall worker

Town clerk Rae Ware urged Snead council members to consider delaying street repaving until the town better secures its financial footing. She explained that the last repaving in 1998 totaled around $490,000. Considering general inflation and particularly road materials, Ware estimates a similar paving would currently run around $1.5 million.

When asked for how long she would propose a delay, Ware said her preference would be two years. As Councilman Greg Ogles noted the roads could not last that long, Ware conceded that one year would be acceptable.

Utilities department head Jeff Whited added his voice to a delay as he explained the need for new culverts along most of the considered streets. He noted that fill around culverts needs time to settle, suggesting a year as an appropriate period. Ogles’s motion to begin replacement of the culverts won unanimous approval.

Whited had earlier questioned the council about upgrading a waterline on Bodine Road. He noted the need to improve the present 3-inch line to 6 inches. As council members looked over a $23,000 bid, Whited offered possible ways to cut that price.

Eventually, Whited proposed obtaining a quote for boring work without any materials. He explained town employees could do some of the work and he could check on material prices from other sources. Councilors agreed to re-examine the upgrade after seeing the alternative prices.

With another motion from Ogles, the council voted to add Jennifer Adams as a part-time town hall office employee. Mayor La’Shone Price and Councilwoman Ann Sullins voted against the motion. In previous discussions, councilors had noted the need for a new employee trained to serve as a substitute for other office employees and to relieve them of heavy demands. Adams will begin work at $10 dollars an hour.

Ogles also won approval to make an additional $200 payment to Kim Sisson. The council had hired Sisson to clean the town hall. Ogles said that for the first cleaning, Sisson had several tasks added to the original list after she had bid. With Price and Sullins abstaining, the other councilors agreed, stipulating the payment as a one-time expenditure.

In other action, members authorized fire Chief Lee Netherton to purchase a new $5,600 emergency extrication tool, using town funds and a $1,500 grant from the county healthcare authority. Councilors accepted a $500 bid by Ross Brothers to remove two trees leaning over town roadways, approved purchases of two tables at $250 each for the annual chamber of commerce banquet, and approved spending $270 to have police radar devices inspected and calibrated.

Ware reported workers compensation representative Aaron Reeves had cited two safety concerns on his recent inspection. Whited and his utility workers corrected the first, unprotected and unsecured electrical wiring access.

Councilors agreed to purchase sand to raise the soft material buffer height below park playground equipment to the stipulated 9 inches. Ware noted the vote should meet the requirement to correct that second deficiency within 30 days of Reeves’s inspection.

Whited earlier distributed inventories for signs and equipment at his department’s storage area. Price noted the importance of maintaining such periodic inventories of town equipment.

Price also spoke of the need to clean the softball building. Ogles, who co-ordinates with the council and park and recreation, noted that the men who help with softball are volunteers and that any clean-up would have to await available time.

In another park and recreation matter, Price asked for lists of volunteer coaches to complete background checks. Ogles verified that necessity and said no practices can begin until that is completed.

Councilmen Tim Kent, Phillip McHan, and Dale Snead joined Ogles, Sullins, and Price for the Feb. 27 meeting. The council holds its regular meetings the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the town community center.