Snead raises rental charges for town facilities

Expressing concerns over increased town expenses and perceived excesses occurring by some renters of town property, the Snead Town Council voted to increase its charges for use of those facilities.

Jane Childers, who normally opens and closes those buildings, reported that at times the senior center has been used 13 hours with one day’s $80 rental. She also detailed opened doors with the air conditioning operating and, on some rare occasions, removal of minor items.

Responding in part to Childers’s observations, councilors decided to increase rental costs for the senior citizens and community center. Both will now have a minimum five-hour use requirement and rates will be based on hourly use beyond the minimum.

Councilors set charges on the newer senior center at $30 per hour (with the required five hours totaling $150 as a minimum) and for the community center at $25 per hour (a five hour minimum of $125). The community center charge had been $60. Council members also set an ending time of 8 p.m. for use of either. Members retained the required $100 security deposit for each.

Addressing Childers’s concern over opened emergency doors, councilors voted for Mayor Curt Painter to have high decibel alarms installed on those. The rate change became effective immediately and applied to anyone reserving the buildings after Aug. 10. For those who have already made reservations, the prior rental figure will remain in effect.

Beyond regular actions, councilors voted to continue the town’s $250 annual contribution to the Blount County Education Foundation. Painter noted that employee health insurance premiums have also increased.

Utility department head Jeff Whited reported a prior ADEM (Alabama Department of Environmental Man-agement) inspection. He presumed the inspection went well, since he had not heard otherwise.

In discussion referring to the past meeting’s water meter replacement, Whited informed the council that he would continue to seek another supplier of the radio-read meters. Councilors anticipate a later work session to examine that possible work.

Councilman Greg Ogles asked Whited to do additional work on a culvert on River Bend Road and asked about the condition of Hamby Branch Road. Whited agreed to add gravel around the culvert but reported Hamby Branch was not a town road.

Councilors Tim Kent, Phillip McHan, Charles Sanders, and Dale Snead joined Painter and Ogles for the Aug. 10 meeting. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the community center.