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Bypass will mean more expense for Linden

The Linden City Council is asking officials from the Alabama Department of Transportation to explain why the city must maintain a downtown portion of Highway 43 that will be vacated due to construction of the bypass.

A resolution prepared by the state DOT states that the city will provide maintenance for a portion of the highway, from the South city limit of Linden (Pinecrest) to Highway 28 (Marengo County Courthouse).

There is no time frame for the bypass to be completed, said City Administrator Cheryl Hall.

The city had just received the resolution Monday morning, and DOT asked for prompt action.

The DOT resolution further states that the Federal Highway Administration will not participate in funding the bypass project unless the City of Linden supports and cooperates with the bypass construction, allows the potential closure and barricading of specific streets and indemnify state road workers from suits or claims.

DOT officials will be invited to the September 8 council meeting.

In other action from Monday’s meeting, the council received their first look at the fiscal year 2004 budget. Expected income is $1,960,000.00, and expected expense is $1,502,000.00. That rough draft includes no raises and no capital items, Hall said Tuesday.

Mayor Pat Vice would like to have the budget adopted by the September 22 meeting.

The council voted to declare a "comfort station" public bathroom across from Linden Baptist Church as surplus and sell the property for fair market value. The skating ramp also in the area will be declared surplus and used as sheet metal in the city shop. The ramps are not used, the mayor said.

The council voted to have city employees file weekly expense reports for mileage and purchasing supplies.

Mallory Burkhalter of Northport won the low bid of $38,000 for paving the remaining unpaved streets in Linden.

Mark Henson won the low bid of $2,100 for the construction of a fenced in area in back of the city shop to contain abandoned vehicles that are confiscated.

The Linden Police Department will participate in a Labor Day public safety program funded by a $1,100 grant. Mayor Vice abstained.

A ceremony remembering the victims of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 will be held at 8:15 a.m. on September 11 at the Linden Farmer’s Market.

Editor’s Note: a recent headline was incorrect concerning a state grant awarded to the City of Linden for a drainage project. Linden will receive $400,000 from the state, and the city will have to put up an additional $100,000 of matching money.