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Linden City Council discusses phone service changes

On Nov. 21, the Linden City Council held a meeting during which they passed two motions to change phone service providers from Southern Linc and AT&T to Verizon Wireless.

Southern Linc provided the Push to Talk phones for city employees, and the service needed an upgrade by Dec. 2018. The city would have to pay for new phones which would cost $2,800 in addition to monthly fees costing $510.

By switching to Verizon, the city would only pay $344 for the holsters to hold the phones and a monthly fee of $418.50 for 22 phones. The council also thought that Verizon would provide better service. The council passed the motion to switch from Southern Linc to Verizon.

The council also discussed switching from AT&T to Verizon for the city employees local and long-distance phone service for the office phones. The total cost for city’s first year this Verizon for the office phones would be $5,700 with an equipment cost of $1,800. They are currently paying $16,500 a year with AT&T.

Verizon’s package offers Caller ID, individual phone numbers and an app that allows using one’s cell phone with the office phone number. The council passed the motion to switch from AT&T to Verizon.

Other items discussed by the council are:

• The council discussed moving funds from the First Bank of Linden to an annuity for a higher rate of return. City Attorney W.W. Dinning Jr. said the money needed to be insured, but a private company would not insure it. No motion was made because the funds are restricted and unable to be moved at this time.

• The mayor brought to attention the deterioration of the visitor’s side stands at the football complex. The mayor said they were looking at adding aluminum seating.

• The mayor brought to attention more break-ins at ACE Hardware and at the Linden High School Football Field.

• The council discussed whether Byron Vice had to step down from his position on the Linden City Board of Education based on the Attorney General’s opinion that no one can hold two appointments for profit at the same time. Dinning said that since the school board appointment as not paid, he didn’t think it created conflict. He also said that he would read the opinion again to be sure.

• The council discussed purchasing GPS devices from Verizon which would go in all city government vehicles such as police cars and utility vehicles and keep track of diagnostics, maintenance issues, idle time, excessive speeding and geofencing. The service would have cost either $600 per month if the city purchased the equipment or $800 per month if the city did not. The equipment cost was $4,500. No motion to pass was made.

• The council discussed returning to Revenue Discovery Systems (RDS) for tax collection purposes, but decided to wait until Feb. 2018, when they could receive number of gross sales from the taxable base from the Department of Revenue, to make a decision.

• The council went into executive session based on naming of character to discuss inmates’ meal.

• After the executive session, the council passed a motion to increase inmates’ meal allowance from $7 to $8.

The next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 5 at 4:30 p.m. at Linden City Hall.

(This article was originally published in the Wednesday, November 29 edition of the Demopolis Times.)