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Linden adjusts budget for police vehicle

The Linden City Council amended the budget during the Feb. 5 meeting for an SUV previously purchased by the police department. The council added an additional $12,000, bringing the overall budget of the SUV and necessary police vehicle equipment to approximately $36,000.

The council also agreed to support Child Abuse Awareness Month in April following the request from Agnew Hall on behalf of Exchange Club Child Abuse Prevention Center in Birmingham that the city “go blue” to represent the month’s official color.

Hall’s bid for the city’s support began as he explained “This is not a Jefferson County problem. This is not a city problem. This is not a problem that’s foreign to us. I promise you it exists here.”

He included a number of statistics in his request, including that 68 percent of child sexual abuse victims are abused by a family member and one in three girls and one in five boys are sexually abused before they are 18-years-old. He also shared that “68 percent, 70 percent of people never report, so these are only based on what is reported.”

He also told the council of possible long-term effects from child abuse such as struggling with addiction and an increased likelihood to be involved in crime.

“It’s something we sweep under the rug, especially in rural Alabama. It’s hard. It’s nasty. But at some point, we’re going to have to do something about it,” he said when describing silence when it comes to child abuse as a long-term issue.

“Send a message out there that we’re here. We’re acknowledging. We’re listening. And send a message to the perpetrators that we’re not going to allow it,” Hall said.

Secretary to the Council Bruce Ward suggested a presentation slide to play on the city’s information channel Mediacom Channel 23 and Facebook page, as well as decorating the town with blue ribbons, while Mayor Charles Moore inquired if a flag was available to fly to show support.

Ward and Moore ultimately decided to continue discussing ideas for Linden to “go blue” in support of Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Other items discussed by the city council include the following:

• Moore asked Dinning when the previously approved resolution for an alcohol ordinance, which will allow the sale of alcohol on Sunday starting at noon, will take place. Dinning said that the Alabama legislature will need to approve it first once it goes in session in March, after which the council will be notified.

• approving Vonda Wilson to represent District 3 until the end of the late Councilman Jimmy Pope’s current term. Wilson will be sworn in at the next council meeting on Feb. 19

• Ward informed the council of local business reports. He said “Overall, businesses are doing well, and we’re happy with that, and we’d like to just remind everyone to show local in the Linden because that’ what makes everything turn.”

The Linden City Council meets every first and third Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at city hall.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, February 13 issue of the Demopolis Times.)