Patton Lane Park

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 24, 2011

City awaits AG on guard hiring

By John Howell Sr.

Batesville officials who want to hire a security guard to monitor activity at Patton Lane Park may have to wait until June to learn the extent of liability that would come with the guard.

A resident who lives near the park attended the April 19 meeting of the mayor and aldermen and urged the city officials to hire a security guard for the park.

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“It’s just now starting; it’s going to get worse …,” the man, father of young children who use the playground, said.  

Mayor Jerry Autrey and aldermen agreed, in principle, to provide a guard, pending the city attorney’s advice on the city’s liability.

That’s where the question remains. Assistant City Attorney Colmon Mitchell said last week that following the April 19 meeting, he had requested an expedited opinion from the Mississippi Attorney General’s office to determine if the city can be held liable for the actions of a private security guard it hires. The opinion was not received in time for the May 17 meeting. Even an expedited opinion from the Attorney General usually takes 30 days, Mitchell said.

 The next meeting date scheduled for city officials is June 7 unless a special meeting is called before that date.

In other business at the May 17 meeting:

•Street superintendent Teddy Austin described two locations on Pollard Street where he plans to replace two culverts with larger culverts. “I’d like to replace both culverts and see if it would help the water situation over there,” Austin said;

•Mayor Autrey asked Austin to look into the feasibility of extending sidewalks on Patton Lane Park from Wood Street to Panola Avenue.

“It’s a lot of trees, a lot of light poles,” Austin said.

The mayor said that easements from property owners are being sought to allow the work;

Following up an April request by the mayor and aldermen, Police Chief Tony Jones made additional recommendations for stop sign and speed bump placement.

The chief recommended:

•Three-way stops at Perkins Lane and Bates Street, Church and Potts Streets, Martin Luther King and Martinez Streets and a four-way stop at Deaton and King Streets.

•Speed bumps on Martin Luther King between Van Voris and Tubbs Road and in Keating Grove between Sunrise and Rosa Leigh, Oak Leaf near Shadow Lane and between 109-111 Shadow Lane.