Snead funds major paving project

At the encouragement of Mayor Curtis Painter and councilman Jack Freeman, the Snead Town Council voted to budget more than $87,000 to fund the repaving of several town roads. Freeman, whose responsibility is roads, had long pushed for more funding.

Painter noted that the town had borrowed money 15 years earlier and paved all town roads and it was time to begin reworking those as soon as possible. He identified Pruett, Pearman, Blackmon, and Mt. Carmel roads as those where work was needed.

The funds will come from the 2014 budget with work planned for as soon after Oct. 1 as possible with Whitaker Construction of Guntersville to do the paving.

Before beginning the business portion of the meeting, Painter referred to resident John Seaton and announced that Seaton’s requests for cleaning of property across from his home had been successful. Seaton then spoke, thanking the council, police, and town employees for their help in encouraging the property owner to handle the “nuisance” as Seaton viewed it. In conversation with The Blount Countian later, the smiling Seaton said the property looked brand new.

The council approved requests for funds from the town budget. Members continued appropriations to various county government and nonprofit bodies. Then renewed funding for the county animal shelter ($1,670 – an increase from the past $1,496 after the county commission asked incorporated areas to provide $2 per resident as an annual contribution); county juvenile court ($1,000); The Blount County County Education Foundation ($250); and the Birmingham Regional EMSBREMSS ($129).

Earlier, at the request of police Chief Phillip Weaver, the council voted to donate $250 to the Oneonta Police Department, which has offered the use of its newly purchased evidence destruction equipment. Weaver had explained that the town has lost its former providers who could destroy illegal drugs and other hazardous materials confiscated and no longer needed.

In a bit of controversy, the council voted to increase the pay of police officer Casey Hathcock by $1 per hour. Freeman questioned that action, since so doing would move Hathcock’s pay above that of a department employee with longer experience. Councilor Greg Ogles, who made the motion, told Freeman he would understand the reasoning if he talked with Weaver. Freeman remained hesitant and was told by councilman Dale Snead that further discussion would be better held in an executive session.

Snead earlier won unanimous approval for his motion to require all travel reimbursement requests to explain the purpose of the trip.

Councilors Phillip McHan and Charles Sanders joined the other members for the Aug. 12 session. The council holds its regular meetings the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the town community center.