Snead’s Freeman reveals wish list

In a relatively short meeting for the Snead Town Council and with two members absent, councilman Jack Freeman took the opportunity to reveal his wish list for the town. Indicating with his age he might not be able to accomplish all he would like, Freeman identified several dreams he has for the town.

First on his list is for the town to purchase property adjacent to its water tower. Freeman asserts the site would be a good location for a new town hall, library, and general municipal complex. Councilors have long anticipated the widening of US 278 through the town and with that the loss of the present town hall. While awaiting the need to use that property, the first-term councilman envisions grading, plowing, and seeding the site for use as a recreational football or soccer field.

Freeman’s other dream, which he has advocated before, is for the town to create a small “splash park” for children at the site of the town’s former swimming pool. Waste water from the park would be used to irrigate a small flower garden at the location. Freeman, who worked several years in construction before joining the council, contends the park could be constructed without a great expense.

Freeman also used his time to chide District 2 Commissioner Andy Neill for notification sent the town on anticipated charges for town use of commission services. Neill responded that he felt the charges had not been adequately researched and that he does not intend to follow those guidelines. Neill, in fact, told the council that he decides charges within his district and that he may decide not to charge the town at all for some services. He promised to work with the town any way he could.

Neill had earlier presented an $800 check to the Snead Volunteer Fire Department, as assistance from discretionary funds he controls. He explained he had decided to provide such assistance to the six departments within his district.

Mayor Tim Kent asked the council, in light of the absence of two members, to delay discussion on utilities superintendent Jeff Whited’s query of contracting with a geologist. Whited and the council have long discussed another water source for the town. The latest well studied did not meet state requirements. Whited estimates the geologist would cost the town around $20,000.

Kent announced the town received 53 applicants for its advertised water clerk position. Whited explained that town employees had narrowed that to 11, whose experience seemed most related to the qualifications needed. The council set a special called Monday meeting to reduce that number further.

Town clerk Rae Ware advised the council of several upcoming deadlines. She explained the council must act by Feb. 28 if members wish to raise pay for the mayor and council members in the upcoming term. They must also set qualifying fees for the August municipal election by June 28. The council voted to move its official voting location to the community center (the old senior citizens building) for those elections. Members had previously made the change for state and national voting.

The council approved police chief Phillip Weaver’s request for leave to attend a required upcoming training session.

Councilmen Charles Sanders and Curtis Painter missed the meeting. Councilmen James Campbell and Phillip McHan joined Freeman and Kent at the Feb. 13 session. The council holds its regular meetings the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the community center.