Snead work session fails to produce water discount

Snead councilman Jack Freeman could not win support at the council’s work session Nov. 28 for his plan to offer discounts to town water customers with high water bills. Freeman had proposed at the council’s first November meeting that customers who had water bills $100 greater than their average be allowed to pay a reduced $3.50-perthousand gallons rate one time every three years.

Freeman’s concern resulted from a bill of more than $1800 above normal for residents Jim and Sherry Brown. The Browns reported a leak of which they were unaware caused the overage.

Utilities supervisor Jeff Whited continued his opposition to the proposal. He held that the town’s loan guarantor would not approve such a change. Having been asked to check with the lender, Whited reported the town must maintain a ratio of 1.25 to 1.0 revenue to debt. Representatives for the New York bank that holds the note said that should the ratio drop below the required level, the town would have to raise overall rates.

Councilors seemed sympathetic to the Browns but opposed any change, which might result in increased rates. Whited contended that should the town provide the change and seek to make it retroactively effective, other customers would seek adjustments for their past overages. He also contended the present payment plan, which allows a monthly 10 percent repayment plan for excessive bills, appears to be working all right.

No one would second Freeman’s motion. The Browns spoke for some time but failed to sway the council. Eventually, Mayor Tim Kent ended the discussion by restating council concerns.

“Bo” and Jeanette Kornegay spoke for their second consecutive council meeting about water pressure problems on their line. “Bo” indicated he had hoped to have the pressure problems resolved by Thanksgiving but was now looking toward that as a Christmas present. He expressed optimism that Whited appeared to be seeking resolution of the problem.

The council agreed to carry over discussion of possible purchase of land adjacent to a town ball field. Councilors wanted more information on the property lines and road frontage.

Members also agreed to examine a new ordinance for the upcoming December meeting designed to bring the town in compliance with changed ethics requirements.

All council members ( James Campbell, Phillip McHan, Curtis Painter, Charles Sanders, Freeman, and Kent) attended the Nov. 28 meeting. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the community center.