Snead raises future council pay

In its most significant action, the Snead Town Council voted unanimously this week to increase pay for members by $100 a month. The action will apply as the new council takes office in November. The new mayor will receive $600 a month and councilors $300 a month.

State statute requires councils make any pay changes for future elected officers no later than February before the election. Councilors had introduced the ordinance at their Jan. 12 meeting. Mayor Curtis Painter had cancelled the Jan. 25 meeting, aware of predetermined councilor absences.

Members voted to hire John Sanders to fill the vacated position of parttime maintenance man. He will begin work the first weekend of March with an initial pay of $11 an hour.

Members spent considerable time in discussion with utilities department head Jeff Whited. Some of that discussion dealt with the question of surplus property and its disposal. Members eventually agreed to declare surplus the poles, lights, and transformers replaced at the town’s ballparks on the govdeals website. They took similar action with a 2004 F-150 Ford truck and decided to list a trencher already declared surplus at a reduced price of $5,000 on the same website.

Councilors agreed to allow Total Radio Internet to place an antenna atop a second town water tower to provide additional Internet service to interested town residents. Members had agreed in March of last year to permit the first installation with a one-year trial contract. Whited had advised the council of the company’s wish to expand and had reported the antenna had created no problems for his department. The council set the same $100-a-month lease charge for the second tank off Tugalo Road.

In still another lengthy discussion, councilors finally directed Whited to install 100 of the stored radio-read water meters and hold the remainder (estimated at around 37) for any future replacement or new service. They also accepted town clerk Rae Ware’s suggestion to await any further meter purchases for the new fiscal year (beginning Oct. 1) or after the reserves are installed.

Police Chief Alan Hicks presented copies of the Town of Cleveland’s dog ordinance. He reported some problems with nuisance animals and that he had obtained the nearby town’s example. He asked councilors to read the ordinance and prepare questions or concerns for him for the next meeting. Councilman Tim Kent asked Hicks to obtain Oneonta’s ordinance and determine the powers available to the county animal control officer as well.

Councilors approved Hicks’s request to purchase four new officer radios. They agreed to declare the old radios surplus and again list them with

In quick succession, councilors agreed to send four employees to emergency-needs training and two court employees to continuing education classes. They, then, voted to purchase two tables at the annual Blount County-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce Banquet. Ware reported the transfer of two one-year maturing town certificates of deposit (CDs) from HomeTown to Liberty Bank.

Mike Painter, candidate for the Republican nomination for District 2 county commissioner addressed the council immediately after its opening. Painter reviewed his ties to the town and his perceived qualifications.

Councilman Greg Ogles asked Painter of his intentions for his present job. Painter explained he planned to continue that job part-time during non-commission hours to begin with. He stated he anticipated ending that relationship no more than a year after his anticipated election.

Remaining councilors Phillip McHan, Charles Sanders, and Dale Snead joined Mayor Painter, and councilmen Kent and Ogles for the Feb. 8 session. The council holds its regular meetings the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the town community center.