Snead hears citizen concerns over senior program and drainage

Two women presented concerns to the Snead Town Council at its latest Monday night meeting. The second, Imogene Brown, sought help in correcting drainage problems at her property on county road 14 and Webb Circle. A widow, Brown indicated she attempts to keep her property looking nice but is having trouble with a broken pipe and a clogged ditch. She also noted that two trees appeared on her property, left by others when removing trees damaged by storms, she theorizes.

Utilities supervisor Jeff Whited related that he had spoken about the problem with Brown’s husband sometime before his death 10 years ago. He said the husband had suggested the town remove the drainage pipe and slope sides of the remaining ditch to permit mowing.

Brown seemed agreeable to that suggestion but noted something needed to be done as soon as weather will permit to correct the problem with water standing in her yard. Councilman Curtis Painter offered an “Okay,” to which Brown quizzed quickly, “When are you coming over?” M4A

The first speaker, Helen Smith, asked the council to raise her reimbursement for mileage in delivering the senior meals-on-wheels. Smith explained that she receives only 48.56 cents per mile, below the federal figure she cited as 51.5 cents. [In later discussion, councilman Phillip McHan noted the federal figure has been raised now to 55.5 cents.] Smith said that other drivers for the program in the county are receiving reimbursements greater than hers.

Town clerk Rae Ware explained that raising Smith’s reimbursement to the 51.5 cents she cited would cost the town $244.61. Painter struggled with the matter, evidently not so much over that cost but over the idea that M4A (Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging), which administers the program, keeps placing greater costs on the town each year.

Ware had detailed figures to present. Shared later with The Blount Countian, Ware indicated M4A paid $10,476 toward costs the past year, with the county adding another $7,144.79. She showed total costs for the program, excluding utilities and some other matters the town might cover, at $21,202.29. In the meeting, Ware noted that M4A had not increased its reimbursement since 2008 and offers wage reimbursement at only $6.55, below minimum wage.

As the discussion continued, local center director Jane Childers expressed appreciation to the council for what it does. She added that the participants make donations for the meals and hold fundraisers to provide for additional wishes at the center.

Smith spoke again, appearing to lecture the council on its perceived excessively frugal concerns. Moralizing, she vowed to pray for each councilor that evening. When Painter accepted the offer, the exchange seemed to grow a bit tense.

Councilors agreed to hold a 30- minute workshop prior to their next meeting to examine more on the program. In other matters, the council agreed to contract with Chandler Mountain Propane at a bid 51 cents a gallon below the present supplier. Chandler Mountain will also provide tanks rent free. Ware added a lateminute bill for weather siren repair from McCord Communication for $1329.70, which councilmen approved.

Charles Sanders presided in the absense of Mayor Tim Kent, with James Campbell and Jack Freeman joining Painter and McHan for the June 27 meeting. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the community center.