Town of Snead looks toward fiscal 2015

Snead council members heard requests for funds from town departments and others in their most recent regular meeting. Meeting first in a 30-minute work session, councilors examined plans submitted by Debra Clem and Brad Pannell for reconfiguring town ball fields.

The pair explained that the drawing they provided was not realistic for Snead currently but that the town could use that as a guide for any planned updating. Councilors agreed the plan was impressive but also discussed its likely cost ranging from an estimated $1 to 1.5 million dollars. Clem and the councilors had hoped the town might qualify for grants to help with work on the fields, but she explained the council had waited too late to apply for the earliest fiscal 2015 funds.

In his request for various funding projects, police Chief Phillip Weaver encountered some resistance from councilors and town clerk Rae Ware over his desire to have two new police cruisers included in the 2015 budget. Noting he had not wanted to start an argument, Weaver heard councilors project funds to purchase one new cruiser and for a good used, or possibly reconditioned, second one.

Members did accede to Weaver’s request to purchase new cameras for all police vehicles. Councilman Tim Kent, a sheriff’s deputy, advised the council of the wisdom and potential financial savings of having the cameras.

Later, the council agreed with Ware to fund cameras for the town hall as well.

Utilities supervisor Jeff Whited reported that his department needs a new trencher. He presented figures and evaluated two possible purchases ranging from $69,000 to $79,000. He reiterated that the town has obtained easement to its storm shelter and on the status of department employees whom councilors have asked to get sewer and water certifications.

Councilman Charles Sanders had requested the precouncil work session to discuss the possibility of the town’s providing health insurance to its council members. The insurance matter was not addressed in the work session but did appear as an agenda item for the regular meeting.

Of that, Ware explained that health insurance is available for council members but that enrollment is limited to the month of November. She also noted that individual members would have to pay their own premiums. She explained that town-financed insurance would be considered a financial benefit and would be viewed as a raise in pay for any council members who took it.

Because of the benefit consideration, the council could only add it at town expense for the next incoming council. That action would have to occur no later than six months prior to the next council election in 2016.

The council provided funding for continuing education for police employee Stephanie Lynn McCollum, a $1,000 donation to the Red Cross (for 2015), and for transfer of accounts from Cadence to HomeTown Bank.

Mayor Curtis Painter and councilors Phillip McHan, Greg Ogles, and Dale Snead joined Kent and Sanders for the Aug. 25 meeting. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the community center.