September 22, 2010 10:28:00 AM
The city council voted unanimously at its regular meeting Tuesday to accept a $17,989 bid to put surveillance cameras along the Riverwalk.
The bid was awarded to Knight Hawk Security, which will put up 12 cameras at strategic locations throughout the park following a final survey today.
The council rejected the other bid of $19,900 from ATGix in Ridgeland.
Although camera feeds can be monitored by Columbus police, the feeds will not be constantly watched, said Chief Joseph St. John.
While he does not anticipate any major problems with the walk, Ward 6 Councilman Bill Gavin said the cameras were necessary, preventative measures.
"They''ll add a sense of security for those who want it and use (the Riverwalk)," he said.
The cameras are just the first of several phases to beef up security in the downtown park, he said.
In future phases, the city could add emergency telephones and more cameras, although no decisions have been made.
The placement of cameras along the serene Riverwalk, which winds 2.2 miles along the Tennessee-Tombigbee River, follows the arrests of three juveniles for spray-painting graffiti on the old Highway 82 bridge.
Two 15-year-old girls and a 16-year-old boy were charged with malicious mischief after they were arrested July 19 by officers staking out the area.
The city has "invested a lot of money in the Riverwalk" and should protect its investment, Gavin said.
In other business, the council heard the appeal of Janet Morris, whose request to rezone her property at 804 Warpath from residential to commercial was denied by the Columbus Planning Commission.
At Mayor Robert Smith''s recommendation, the council sent the case back to the planning commission for further inspection.
Morris is trying to add a 20-by-20 foot addition for a shoe store to her beauty salon, which has stood on the property since 1970.
When she bought the property in 2004, she did not know zoning laws prohibited the addition, she said.
But neighbors said rezoning the property could open it and the neighborhood up to other businesses, including liquor stores.
The planning commission said they rejected the rezoning request because it violates state laws against spot zoning, or rezoning when the neighborhood remains residential and there is no pressing public need.
"It''s cut and dried," said neighbor Cliff Loden, who was at the meeting with other homeowners to show opposition to Morris'' proposal.
The council also went into executive session, closing the meeting to the public, to suspend a Columbus firefighter for three shifts.
The name of the firefighter and why he was being disciplined were not released.
guest13 commented at 9/22/2010 5:16:00 PM:
George Orwell is alive and well in Columbus.
Why do so many people give up their right to freedoms and willing live in a nanny state?
Do you know why I carry a gun? Because carrying a cop is too heavy!
Police response time 15 to 20 minutes. Smith & Wesson response time 1/4th second!
remy commented at 9/22/2010 5:30:00 PM:
I'd like to see them send a feed of the Riverwalk cameras to a public website so that the public could view them as well. This would put alot more eyes on the Riverwalk and if anything was happening down there it would be more likely reported to the police. They could place the link for the Riverwalk camera website on the website that the advertises tourism for Columbus too.
mindspeaker commented at 9/23/2010 3:55:00 PM:
Can Columbus not have anything without someone vandalizing or ruining privileges that everyone is entitled to? This town has always been a good place to live and raise children. Now, I am afraid to say it is slowly going to rot because people can't just act right and enjoy what it has to offer.
Come on! Make it a better place once again and straighten up!
zenreaper commented at 9/23/2010 6:08:00 PM:
A great place to raise children?!? Are you KIDDING? Once they get past 5, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for them to do. No teen dances, no arcades, a crappy mall, no amusement parks, no NOTHING for preteens and teens to do. And then y'all get upset when BORED teens get destructive...der.
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