By Alton Mitchell
The calendar is rolling once again pushing 2015 out and ushering 2016 in. There will be no repeat of the year 2015 unless it is mentioned in the history books and the history books will show that 2015 proved to be a year when LaFayette saw massive change and positive movements. Many events occurred in the great city of LaFayette in 2015 that will have a lasting impression on the community for generations to come.
One of the biggest accomplishments of the year comes in the form of LaFayette receiving national recognition for its efforts to be a more healthy community. The actions spearheaded by councilwoman Tammie Williams brought the national spotlight on LaFayette as the city become a poster child in the national let’s move campaign. The efforts put forth have made the city a much healthier place both in the physical and the mental tense.
The athletic ability of the city of LaFayette was strongly demonstrated this past spring as the LaFayette High School Bulldogs were able to secure a Class 2A State Championship. The skill and discipline that the team placed upon themselves in bringing home another state championship to LaFayette makes it one for the history books in the city.
The Chambers County School System also took great strides in 2015 to provide for the students of Chambers County. At the start of this school year new high tech learning options were introduced that allowed for students to participate in online learning systems as an expanded tool for positive learning outcomes.
The road through 2015 also seemed to have a lot less bumps in it as major road improvement projects surrounded the city. One of the largest was the repaving of U.S. Highway 431 through the city. The main route through LaFayette was repaved over the summer creating a much smoother ride for residents and visitors alike.
Infrastructure projects kept the LaFayette City government busy in 2015 as many projects were announced or started. One of the biggest will be occurring in 2016 with the groundwork laid in 2015. A new park for the city of LaFayette is coming closer to becoming a reality. The foundation has been laid for the planning process to begin on the new LaFayette city park.
Council also focused a large amount of their time in 2015 on improving the city of LaFayette as being easy on the eyes. Many Council meetings centered on cleaning up dilapidated properties and eye sore areas of the city. Movements to make LaFayette more tourist and business friendly dominated council meetings.
LaFayette was very proud to spend a large portion of the Fall focusing on getting the city noticed on the world wide web with a new and updated website to showcase what the city had to offer to the world.
City departments also saw some changes as 23-year police veteran Benjamin Hill was named as LaFayettes new chief of Police in 2015. City departments were also approved to receive new vehicles including 2015 being the year when the LaFayette Fire Department received a new ambulance and a grant was approved for the purchase of new police cruisers in the city. The police department also invested its time and efforts to 31 deserving youth over the summer as the youth were able to participate in the city’s Youth Police Academy.
Tragedy struck LaFayette over the summer as the city saw its first and only homicide of 2015 when LaMarcus D. Hardnett was fatally shot on Martin Luther King Drive. Police quickly were able to nab a suspect in the fatal shooting, arresting Santavius Quamez Core of Opelika, Al and charging him with Hardnetts murder. Shootings in LaFayette prove to be rarity, but another shooting earlier in the year near LaFayette High school left one man with two bullet wounds and two twin brothers facing charges.
As the calendar turns to 2016 a chapter in the history of LaFayette has closed. With a few blemishes on its pages the year was not without flaw, but the scales tilt more so in the direction of a positive and productive year in LaFayette. As the new year rolls in the stamp left in place by 2015 is one that has created a lasting impression in the city.