Snead receives clean, unqualified audit opinion

In a heavily attended council session, Snead town auditor Lori Criswell presented the town’s 2016 audit. Criswell noted the town received an unqualified, clean opinion, which reveals no problems for the town.

Criswell summarized portions of her report and offered to answer any questions councilors might have. Failing to receive any queries, she announced her willingness to address any individual questions from her office or return at a later time, should the council so desire.

In later discussion, town clerk Rae Ware advised members that they will need eventually to accept the audit. Mayor La’Shone Price suggested councilors delay approval until they have completed any desired perusal.

Blount County Emergency Management Agency director Don Roybal addressed the council seeking its approval of the Blount County Multihazard Mitigation Plan. The over 700- page document needs council approval to permit the town’s filing for emergency funding and grants, resulting from any future hazardous conditions. Toward the end of the session, councilors did approve the plan.

Following Roybal’s presentation and departure, Price announced the council would recess into executive session until 7:45 p.m. When quizzed on the purpose of the session, Ware offered to address “good name and character.” The planned 30-minute recess ran approximately one hour and 20 minutes. Bradley Green, partner in the King and Green law firm which serves as the town’s attorneys, remained with the council in its executive session as did police Chief Alan Hicks, volunteer fire Chief Lee Netherton, utilities department head Jeff Whited and police officer Casey Hathcock.

When the regular session resumed around 8:35 p.m., many of the former spectators had departed. The council took no action evidently related to its executive session. Price did announce that Councilman Dale Snead had asked to be excused due to illness.

Councilors accepted a proposal presented by Whited to upgrade a 3-inch water line on Bodine Road to 6 inches. Whited had spoken of options for the replacement in the final February meeting when he presented a proposal of more than $23,000. At council request, he looked at alternatives which councilors found saved the town over $6,000. Members authorized that expenditure.

Councilors agreed to purchase a desk and computer and provide an additional telephone at the town hall for recently added part-time employee Jennifer Adams. Adams has also requested an increase in work hours from her present limit of 29 to permit additional training.

Members authorized county extension agent Dan Porch’s use of the town senior citizens center for a community gardening class on June 20. Ware advised members and others affected to file their mandated statement of economic interests for 2016 by May1, had any not already so filed.

Chief Hicks advised the council of needed repairs for his department’s 2016 Interceptor. He noted the repairs are under warranty but are delayed due to parts issues by the manufacturer. Councilors did not offer attendees not on the agenda the opportunity to address the body, as they have sometimes so done. Although Snead left the meeting earlier, all councilors (Price, Snead, Tim Kent, Phillip McHan, Greg Ogles, and Ann Sullins) were present for the initial roll call. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the town community center.