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Business could fill Linden void

The saga of the old Linden Manufactuing Plant building on Highway 28 continued at Monday’s meeting of the Linden City Council.

The building has been considered at various times in the past for not only a site for new industry but also as the site for a new city hall building.

The Linden Industrial Board joined the council Monday to discuss the possibility a plastic decking business from Mississippi using the plant building. Various numbers of prospective new jobs were expected from the new business, from a high of 80 to a low of 25.

Bob Howerton and Dennis Lynch, who Mayor Pat Vice called industry recruitment "headhunters," are trying to recruit business for the city. They encouraged the council to get the roof fixed on the building and have given the council other recommendations for repair so the building would be more attractive for prospective industry.

The city has already turned the power and water back on after 12 years of inactivity, said City Administrator Cheryl Hall. A good amount of debris has also been cleaned up, she said.

A termite bond for the building would run $6,000 to $10,000, the mayor said.

Vice and the council would rather wait until an industry is serious about using the building before they spend money on the roof. The mayor had expected to receive estimates at Monday’s meeting on fixing the roof or renovating the building, but the contractor Danny Eaves did not attend the council meeting.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is willing to give the city funding, Vice said, but it is based on the number of jobs that would be created. City Administrator Hall estimated it could mean $5,000 in funding per job to be created. "For us to go to ADECA to get this (matching grant) we’ve got to have the prospect in hand," the mayor said.

Councilman Ivan Allday said the city has a lot of money tied up in the old building.

Alabama Power is willing to help the city build an industrial spec building like the one in Demopolis, Vice said, but the City of Linden will have to pay for the building if an industrial occupant is not found in five years.

In other action from Monday’s council meeting, a new architect will show the council plans for a new city hall at the July 21 meeting.

The Linden Police Department will use a state "CHINS" law to help keep children off the streets late at night. The "Child in Need on Supervision" law allows police to pick children and take them to their parents. "If we can’t find the parents, we put them (the children) in detention," said Public Safety Director Jeff Laduron, "and then we cite the parents and let the parents come to court."

It was decided the CHINS law was better than establishing a curfew which would likely be decided as unconstitutional.

David Wiggins for reappointed to another term on the Parks and Recreation board.