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Council hears blight conditions, city hall renovations


Council MeetingBy Alton Mitchell

On the evening of Monday June 8, 2015 the Lafayette City Council sat down in a packed house at City Hall in to hold its first June meeting. The room was full with standing room only as the Council addressed new areas of business for the City of Lafayette.

Many topics were discussed by council members the first relating to the cities electrical grid and its stability. Stewart Engineering an outside agency had recently completed an overview and 5 year stability plan for Lafayette’s power grid. Council was proud to announce that the overview resulted in an overall satisfactory rating, although citing that some improvements can be made down the line.

City Council also granted contractors a 14- day extension to complete sidewalk repairs in the City of Lafayette. The original deadline for sidewalk construction and repairs was given a deadline of June 8, 2015, however contractors had fallen slightly behind and requested a 14-day extension to complete the project. The city council voted unanimously to allow for the extension on the project.

Councilwoman Tammie B. Williams of District E had long term extension plans on her mind at the meeting. The councilwoman made recommendations that the city council should begin to explore options for renovating or reconstructing some downtown structures to make them more attractive and appealing.

She suggested that the Lafayette City Hall should be close to the top of that list. She gave a couple options to explore including making repairs and renovations to the aging structure or completely tearing it down and rebuilding it. The councilwoman did not agree with an earlier recommendation to move the City Hall to the outskirts of town. The topic was left unresolved and will be discussed once again at a later meeting.

The renovation of local structures also highlighted other points of the city council meeting. Council members agreed that dilapidated and deteriorating properties are becoming an eyesore and hazard around Lafayette. The council addressed a list of homes within the city that are represented in these dilapidated conditions. Council members agreed something needs to be done about these properties and offered several recommendations.

One which gained a lot of footing among the council members was the institution of a code enforcement officer. This would be a newly formed position in the city whose primary job would be to find violations in local codes and seek to obtain a resolution to those code violations. Other options were discussed by council members, but no decision was reached after council members heard testimony from an audience member whom explained many of the listed properties were owned by investors whom had fallen upon times of hardships. Council agreed to re-address the issue at a future meeting.

Mayor Barry D. Moody began to wrap up the meeting by readdressing the positive news about the cities electrical grid. Mayor Moody also updated water projects and pipe issues in Lafayette. The mayor was proud to announce that the direction is going good in reference to these utility upgrades.

The city council also suspended talks of a city sales tax holiday in August until a future meeting. News was also briefly brushed upon for a possible community garden to be built in conjunction with a local church, but further research was needed by council before that could be addressed further.

The city council will meet again on June 22nd at 6 p.m. in City Hall on Alabama Avenue.