City discusses issues with TC from guard shacks to noise complaints
by Chris Norwood
TALLADEGA — City Manager Brian Muenger met with Talladega College Vice President Gerald Williams and facilities director Gary Lawson Tuesday to discuss several issues between the school and the city.

According to Muenger, the meeting was productive and covered three main areas: the recently constructed guard shacks, noise complaints stemming from marching band rehearsals and the vacation of several city streets.

The guard shacks were put up in the wake of an incident where a student got shot. Unfortunately, at least one of the shacks was placed on a city right of way, no construction permits were issued and the buildings are not in compliance with the historic preservation district that includes the campus.

Muneger said Williams and Lawson said the college would move any of the shacks that are on city property and agreed to seek a certificate of appropriateness from the city’s Historic Preservation Commission.

Muenger said the college representatives said the shacks would be manned by employees of a private security company the college had hired. It was not clear Tuesday what authority these security guards would have. Muenger said his understanding was that they would be there “to observe only.”

The college also planned to install surveillance cameras all over the campus, although the timeline on this was not clear.

According to Talladega College Vice President for Student Affairs Jacqueline Paddio, the new security guards will be certified police officers, and they will be armed. The officers will be coming from outside agencies. The exact number of extra guards would vary according to shift and to the school’s needs at any given time.

The school administration was “working expeditiously” on the security cameras, but she said she could not give a definitive time line as of Tuesday evening.

Muenger said that in past weeks, there had been several noise complaints stemming from marching band practices that went on late into the night. Some of the calls were from as far away as the Dellwood subdivision.

“They said that wouldn’t be a problem anymore,” Muenger said. “One time it was a special event that ran long and some other occasions were getting ready for the Founder’s Day parade. The times and frequency of practices has been reduced.”

Lastly, Muenger spoke about the topic of closing parts of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Nolan Street and College Street. Muenger said he asked the college to submit a formal written request to clear up some confusion about whether Coosa Street is to be included in the proposal. It was not.

“I’m sure there’s some room for compromise,” Muenger said. “I’m still waiting on some reports from the police and fire departments about what effect that might have on emergency vehicles. Also, there’s a process that has to be gone through to close a city street, including public hearings.”

“The situation is evolving,” he said.

Contact Chris Norwood at cnorwood@dailyhome.com.

© 2012