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Event center to open in LaFayette


By Alton Mitchell

As the month of February draws to a close the city of LaFayette’s City Council held its final meeting of the month on Monday night. The meeting was short and sweet, but highlighted a great new opening to the growth that will soon embrace the city of LaFayette. The vast majority of Monday evening’s meeting highlighted items of growth and items to sustain the growth of the community as a whole.

The highlight of the meeting was given by Monica Shaw. Monica Shaw has become one of the LaFayette’s newest entrepreneurs. In April Ms. Shaw will open a unique new venture in LaFayette known as Diane’s Castle. Ms. Shaw extended a warm invitation to members of the city council to an invitation only event to be held in April.

Diane’s Castle will be a new event center opening on the eastern side of the city of LaFayette. The City Council heard of the great events that will be in the works for the facility that is located in an old church that has been abandoned for nearly fifteen years. Ms. Shaw outlined events that included, clothing drives and student mentoring to come at the new facility.

Diane’s Castle has a scheduled grand opening of April 2nd. Leading up to that opening the facility will host members of the LaFayette city council, local school boards, and other community leaders to showcase firsthand the great opportunities to come.

Chief Heath Cotney of the LaFayette Fire Department also offered the city council an outline of some of the opportunities growing within his department. Chief Cotney advised the council of the tremendous learning experiences he has gained in dealing with a recent fire grant that was approved last year for the purchase of a new ambulance for the department.

Chief Cotney presented a wealth of information to the LaFayette city council on information in the changes to the standards of ambulances. Chief Cotney went into great depth about safety and performance standards established by the NFPA. In response to changes that have taken places since the approval of the ambulance grant in August of 2015.

In a proposed solution to the search for a new Ambulance in LaFayette Chief Cotney proposed the review of the city council to look into the possibility of using a Texas based purchasing company called HGCA that can do a lot of the leg work and possibly find discounts for the purchase of needed merchandise.

Chief Cotney requested that the city council take time to review documentation that he supplied and to look into the possibilities that the company holds. Chief Cotney showcased that the company has done business with 124 other municipalities in the state of Alabama including areas such as Opelika, Auburn, and Valley.

Chief Cotney also outlined the good results that were seen in neighboring cities for recent purchases from the company. The city council took much of what Chief Cotney had to say to heart as the closely reviewed the supplied documentation. The city of LaFayette to be in compliance with the guidelines of the grant must have the new ambulance purchased and ready for service on the streets of LaFayette by September of this year.

The streets of LaFayette became another highlight of the meeting as street Superintendent George Green offered and update on the paving projects occurring on Alabama Avenue and First Avenue in LaFayette.

Superintendent Green highlight some of the high points that have been occurring with the work that has been ongoing including crews taking steps to improve irrigation systems on the roads and to offer relief in areas where ponding and standing water on roadways has become an issue. Superintendent Green advised council that of three major trouble spots on Alabama Avenue measures have relieve the problems of two of those. He did acknowledge that crews are still working on issues located near the Chambers County Detention Center.

Also addressing concerns from members of council, Superintendent Green announced that areas near City Hall were nearing completion and that crews will do an extensive inspection and walk through of the area before approving the final thumbs up from the job that East Alabama Paving Company is doing.

Shortly after Mr. Green finished addressing the council the council adjourned to go into executive session. The Council meets on a biweekly basis at 6:00 p.m. Central time in City Hall on Alabama Avenue. The next Council meeting will be held on March 7th.