Water problems top Snead council discussions

Bo Kornegay, his wife, and son returned to the Snead Town Council meeting to address water problems. Kornegay, who earlier frequented council meetings over several years seeking a water-line extension to his community, lodged complaints over water-pressure problems. He noted that he and his neighbors experience water-pressure problems up to six times a day.

Kornegay lay the blame on a power outage around a year ago and the failure to address that properly. He explained he and others had been so pleased to receive the water line and that things had gone well until the outage.

Utilities supervisor Jeff Whited explained efforts he and town engineer Robert Nelson have made to secure answers from the contractor who laid the line. Whited said contractor representatives are to check again on the problems. He promised to continue efforts until the matter is resolved.

At the end of the meeting, councilman Jack Freeman proposed the town reconsider its decision on Jim and Shirley Brown’s water bill. The Browns had appeared before the council seeking help with a then $1440+ water bill. Freeman indicated he had asked the Browns to return as he sought council help to reduce their payment.

Freeman proposed that any time a customer’s water bill jumped $100 or more from its usual average the town provide financial assistance. Under his proposal, the town would charge $3.50 per each 1000 gallons used for water cost and transit. He would limit the assistance to once every three years for any one customer.

Whited stated his objections. He noted that the town has a financial responsibility to its New York bank creditor that requires the bank’s approval for any changes to water rates. Whited also explained that he felt the town could not make the action retroactive, since others would ask for help on their previous overages.

The council set a 6:30 p.m. work session before its next regular meeting to examine the matter. Members directed Whited and town clerk Rae Ware to review regulations from the bank and determine options available to the town.

Senior citizen center director Jane Childress, who appeared on the agenda, complained of problems she and others at the senior center had in obtaining police help in a recent incident. She noted the meals’ deliverer had locked her keys in her car with the engine running and could not reach regular police to open the vehicle. Childress held she was told the department did not trust its reserves to use the town tool to open locked car doors.

Police chief Phillip Weaver took exception to Childress’s remarks. He explained he was away at a conference but that he could always be reached by cell phone, which he had noted at a previous meeting. He disputed the claim that his department does not trust its reserves.

The council agreed to Whited’s request to purchase a new one-ton pickup for the utilities department. Whited offered a state bid price of $24,096 from Valley Ford. That motion followed another agreeing to purchase a new $26,792.17 police vehicle from Terry Sligh of Oneonta at an above-state-bid-list price but within the permissible overage for local purchases. Councilors agreed the $1300 extra cost would be recouped by not having to travel for servicing. Members also decided to explore at its next meeting the possible purchase of a house with almost 5.25 acres near one of its ball fields.

Mayor Tim Kent missed the Nov. 14 meeting. Charles Sanders presided in Kent’s absence with all fellow councilmen (Freeman, James Campbell, Phillip McHan, and Curtis Painter) present. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the community center.