Snead seeks to address problems

Hoping to address lingering issues, the Snead Town Council discussed ways to correct problems in its latest meeting. Utilities director Jeff Whited reported lightning had damaged surge protectors on two of the town’s weather sirens and on the Pearman Road booster station. Councilors voted to accept Shirley Electric’s $4,995.85 quote to provide new protection for the three.

Whited had learned of the problem with the monthly siren testing conducted by county EMA. He failed to hear one of the sirens and had town clerk Rae Ware telephone the original contractor, who discovered damage to the sirens. Ware reported repairs to the sirens themselves ran between $3,500 and $4,000 on the equipment, most recently purchased at $17,000.

Mayor Curtis Painter said the town had received a $13,370 estimate for repairs to shoulder areas on Moore Road. A shoulder had collapsed two weeks earlier in a harrowing accident as a town employee mowed along the road. At the prior council meeting, Ware had suggested the town might receive assistance from the county on repairs.

Painter said he spoke with the current district commissioner who said he had not budgeted for work on the county side of Moore. Painter then spoke with the probate judge and other commissioners who agreed to pay half the cost.

Councilors Greg Ogles, Dale Snead, and Charles Sanders asked if the county repair included reworking the road base. Members decided to await a written agreement before approving the proposal.

On other road issues, Painter said he had spoken with a state highway official and a contractor representative who were evaluating road conditions along U.S. 278 near the former Walmart location. Councilors and others have complained of improper completion of work along the three-lane section added for Walmart. Painter advised that the rough section would be addressed but he had not been provided any specific timetable. He also reported the long anticipated work on repaving selected town streets should begin this month.

Ware repeated her estimate that this summer’s municipal elections would likely run over twice the 2012 figure of around $6,000. She had previously spoken of seeking another provider. Councilors asked her to make another attempt to get a quote from that possible provider before they act.

Painter asked town attorney Brett King of a possible dog ordinance submitted to him. King indicated the ordinance he read seemed appropriate with some minor grammatical changes. He suggested the council might wish to increase fines. With council suggestions of raising the initial fine to $50 and any subsequent violations to $250 each, King agreed to finalize the wording and return it for later action.

Asked of agreement with natural gas provider Marshall Gas, King reported that a franchise agreement had been reached. After he learned the town had not received any payments from the company and heard rumors that some businesses were not paying the franchise fee, King agreed to make additional contacts on those matters.

On a motion by Snead, seconded by Tim Kent, the council voted to keep city ad valorem taxes at present levels. It also approved, contingent on passing physical and background checks, the addition of Robert England to the town’s volunteer fire department.

Ogles asked police Chief Alan Hicks of the effort to sell the town’s former police cruiser. Hicks reported the first attempt on had not reached the $18,500 reserve and that it has been reposted with a lowered reserve of $16,500.

Councilman Phillip McHan joined other members for the May 9 session. The council holds its regular meetings the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the town community center.