During the work session prior to Tuesday’s Lineville City Council meeting, Lineville police chief Monty Giddens expressed concerns about safety issues stemming from several reported incidents at the Carver Street Community Center, the most recent of which allegedly involved the stabbing of a high school student over the weekend.
“It’s not getting any better,” Giddens said about recent attempts by police officers to monitor the area. “It’s getting worse.”
Giddens left immediately following the meeting. Attempts to reach him at the Lineville Police Department in person and by phone were unsuccessful Tuesday. Officials at the police station declined to release any information about the incident including an incident or offense report.
The council didn’t take action on the issue, but Mayor Roy Adamson asked Councilman Johnny Appleby, who serves on the board of directors for the community center, if he could set up a meeting between the council and officials from the center.
“People are getting hurt, and hurt regularly,” Adamson said. “I want a peaceful resolution to this, but someone needs to take control of this.”
Appleby questioned Giddens if the community center could be blamed for the outbreak of recent fights if they took place outside the building and in the parking lot.
“Do you blame the building for that,” Appleby said. “Can you say it’s because of that?”
“Yes, I can,” Giddens said.
After the meeting Appleby said there was a lack of communication between the police department and the community center’s board of directors regarding what was going on at the community center.
“They tell us what they hear, and we tell them what we hear,” Appleby said. “We’ll set up a meeting and find out things.”
This is not the first time problems with the Carver Street Community Center have arisen at the Lineville City Council meeting. In December, Giddens alerted the council to the decision to set up a curfew and closing time at the center to try and curb fights that had been reported in and around the property.
After the meeting, Adamson said the council has had several problems with the center, including confusion about who actually owns the building. City officials have searched for proof of the city’s ownership of the facility, but so far, none has been found.
“It’s interesting,” Adamson said regarding the city’s unsuccessful attempts to locate the owner of the building in their records.
“We’ve had problems there, and we’re just trying to do something before someone gets seriously hurt,” Adamson said.
The council approved the hiring of a new police officer and maintenance supervisor for the city at the council meeting. Giddens recommended the appointment of Grant Colburn as a probationary officer for Lineville, effective immediately. Colburn will replace Officer Phillip Hudson who handed in a letter of resignation on Dec. 8.
Rusty Taylor was approved as the full-time maintenance supervisor for the city. Taylor had been serving in an acting role as supervisor since October.
The council also approved a public notice about rezoning a parcel of land near Highway 9 from private residence to a business zone. The council will listen to public comment at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 23 in the Lineville City Hall annex prior to the city council meeting. The meeting and public comment were pushed back a week to accommodate Martin Luther King Jr. Day taking place on their scheduled meeting day on Jan. 16.
Star staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546.