LaFayette’s City Council met for the second time this year on Monday night in City Hall and among the items discussed were agreements with an engineering firm and the United States Department of Agriculture, a questionable utility bill and a proposed work session. The possibility of setting a work session was the topic discussed at the most length and a date was finally set for Feb. 11.
The work session discussion was one that carried over from the Jan. 14 meeting, in which council members had suggested holding work sessions in addition to the two regularly scheduled council meetings each month. On Monday, Councilman Stevie Rowe said he believed that the 30 minute work sessions proposed on Jan. 14 were too short and recommended an hour-long session on the first Monday of each month. Councilwoman Tammie Williams noted that it would be beneficial to hold work sessions prior to the council meetings, instead of a separate day, so that items will be fresh on everyone’s minds and action can be taken immediately. She did, however, oppose hour-long sessions because of conflicts with work. Councilman Mike Ellis also noted that work obligations would cause him to be late to sessions that began at 5 pm. After some discussions on the options for the sessions, Councilman Terry Mangram suggested that the first one be held at 5:15 pm prior to the Feb. 11 council meeting. “We can do it at that time first and then look at it again to see if we need to make changes,” he said. Mangram’s motion to hold a work session on Feb. 11 at 5:15 was unanimously approved.
At the start of the meeting, resident Henry Turner asked the council to check his utility bill that had seen a tremendous jump over the past month. Turner explained that his bill at his residence next to the old Dari Dee was over $800 last month. He said that previous bills had been around $150-250 and that he had taken several steps to lower it, only to see it rise substantially. Councilwoman Williams noted a previous discussion where she had discussed some inconsistency with meter reading. The mayor and council asked City Clerk Louis Davidson to check the past 12 months of utility bills for Mr. Turner in order to identify and fix the problem.
City Attorney Mac Tucker recommended the council approve two contracts on Monday night. The first was for an agreement with Stewart Engineering to render engineering services for the city. Tucker said the contract was adjusted to serve as a sort of “hourly service-type agreement.” The council unanimously approved the contract with Stewart Engineering.
Tucker also recommended the council approve an agreement with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The agreement pertains to destroying the numerous beaver dams around the City Lake. As part of the agreement, the USDA will trap the beavers and then destroy the dams, releasing a substantial backflow of water into the City Lake. Tucker said the contract must be completed in a year, though he did not indicate when the work would begin. It was approved unanimously.