Snead hears of available road funds

Blount County District 2 Commissioner Carthal Self addressed the Snead Town Council on road grants at its December meeting. Self explained Gov. Robert Bentley has directed ALDOT (Alabama Department of Transportation) to set aside funds for roadwork within Alabama counties and municipalities.

Self noted the county commission will apply for the maximum of $2 million available. He conjectured that the town would also have a maximum around $200,000. The council asked member Jack Freeman to contact Edward Austin of ALDOT to obtain more details and begin the application process.

Freeman spoke on several matters during the session. Utilities supervisor Jeff Whited won council approval to replace the fiberglass pump station at Wilson’s Chapel with a new expanded block building. Freeman had estimated the cost of that replacement at $4,500. He indicated he would help with the labor and would have a crew of his (Freeman has a background in construction) do the work he feels he cannot. He said the crew portion should total about $600 of the estimated amount.

Whited reported the county has completed work on the site at the industrial complex where the town plans to have a Fuelman station. He detailed plans for providing electric service at the site. That led to an exchange between Freeman and councilman Dale Snead, an Alabama Power employee. The two debated options for that service.

Town clerk Rae Ware entered the discussion, objecting to the town’s covering the full electric bill when other county governments will use the station for refueling. She also advised the council to contact the town insurer over the question of having the facility in the town’s industrial park.

As for Ware’s first concern, police Chief Phillip Weaver asked would the town not save considerably on fuel costs using the station rather than buying elsewhere. All agreed the town would enjoy significant savings.

In light of Ware’s other concern, the council agreed to postpone a decision until their next scheduled meeting, Jan. 8. [The council voted to cancel its second December meeting, which would have fallen on Christmas Eve.]

Freeman reported he had met with VFW ( Veterans of Foreign Wars) representatives about locating flag poles. The local VFW offered the town flags and poles and funding to build a memorial honoring veterans. Freeman revealed the plans for a site in front of the police station near US 278. He said the VFW investment was approximately $6,000 and estimated the city expense for electricity use, landscaping, and maintenance at

600-$750 a year.

In a final matter, Freeman won approval to authorize work on two pavilions in the town park. He suggested one, which had been a screened pavilion, be converted to open and that another be reworked due to rotting wood and a crumbling foundation on its stone fire grill.

The council approved hiring Sheila King as the previously advertised temporary full-time clerk. King’s duties will vary as needed in the town hall and her pay rate was set at $9 per hour.

Mayor Curtis Painter and councilmen Phillip McHan, Greg Ogles, and Charles Sanders joined Freeman and Snead for the Dec. 10 meeting, held in the fire station due to election set up in its usual community center location. As previously noted, the council does not have another meeting scheduled until Jan. 8, at its normal 7 p.m. time.