Snead goes to the dogs



Ever vigilant. police dog Didi scans her surroundings as handler Marcus Hudgins keeps her in tow. Snead police Chief Alan Hicks reports that in addition to Didi's drug preparation, she will eventually undergo certification for tracking missing or fleeing persons.

Ever vigilant. police dog Didi scans her surroundings as handler Marcus Hudgins keeps her in tow. Snead police Chief Alan Hicks reports that in addition to Didi’s drug preparation, she will eventually undergo certification for tracking missing or fleeing persons.

Snead police Chief Alan Hicks introduced Didi, his department’s newest officer, at the town’s first council meeting of September. Didi comes to the town from the Netherlands by a federal grant partially procured through Blountsville resident Robert Sandusky.

The 16-month-old German Shepherd offers the police an additional drug-fighting tool. Her estimated $6,800 training prepared her to locate various prescription medications and illegal drugs, including marijuana, heroin, cocaine, meth, and ice. Passively trained, Didi will sit and look toward her handler once she smells the drugs. Ordinances and resolution

In addition to accepting Didi to their police force, Snead councilors approved an ordinance establishing canine controls within the municipality. Under consideration for years and alternating discussion the past several months, the ordinance provides the town the legal framework for addressing nuisance dog issues.

The ordinance forbids dogs roaming freely outside their owner’s property, establishing a $25 fine for a first offense. The fine increases to $250 for a second or third offense, with possible impoundment of the animal on the third. An owner who fails to pay fines or appear in court could face a maximum fine of $500. It also addresses rabid or suspected rabid dogs.

Beyond the dog ordinance, council members approved an annexation ordinance requested by land owner and councilman Greg Ogles. Ogles abstained voting on that ordinance.

Written as prompted by resident concerns, the council passed a resolution seeking a state attorney general opinion of business practices by incoming Mayor La’Shone Price. The resolution asks the legality of police escorts paid by the town for use by the Snead Funeral Home, owned by Price and his family. Water issues

Quipping, “I’d said I wouldn’t gripe if I could just get city water,” customer “Bo” Kornegay appeared at the meeting with concerns over waterline problems and a mis-registering meter. Utilities department head Jeff Whited advised the council of problems from the Mt. Carmel Road water station which serves Kornegay. (See related article, page A6.)

He reported that when power goes out at the station, Kornegay gets air in his line and its flow turns the meter and at even accelerates the rate. Whited suggested two possible solutions. The first entailed purchasing a generator for emergency use at $2,500 to $3,000. The second calls for an extra tank to store water for use in the emergency.

The council appeared to favor the first option, but Whited spoke glowingly of an estimated 500-gallon stainless steel tank. He praised the wisdom of the tank purchase which he believes could be negotiated from state surplus at $600 and that could have numerous alternative uses. Councilors eventually agreed to make both purchases. Other matters

At Hicks’s request, the council agreed to purchase a new police taser for $1,082. Members also voted the town’s continued $1000 annual donation to juvenile probation, $200 to Operation Grateful Heart for tables at its annual banquet, and $250 to the Blount County Education Foundation.

Councilman Dale Snead asked town attorney Brett King of any research on a possible anti-Jake brake ordinance. King replied he had not yet worked on that but could readily adapt one from another he had done.

Mayor Curtis Painter and councilors Tim Kent and Phillip McHan joined Ogles and Snead. Councilman Charles Sanders missed the Sept. 12 meeting. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the community center building.