By Alton Mitchell
This past Monday was one which was filled with big announcements at the LaFayette City Council meeting. Being the first meeting in nearly a month due to the observation of Easter two weeks ago big things had been brewing in the down time for City Council. Much as a volcano may lie dormant building pressure over time only to offer a magnificent and forceful eruption when the pressure has built the LaFayette City Council has done the same by lying dormant only to come back with an eruption of big announcements.
One of the biggest announcements is one which has been building over the past several months and that involves the New City Park for LaFayette. Elise Cormier made the trip from Atlanta to LaFayette once again this time with great news to acknowledge to the city council that one of the biggest projects for the city of LaFayette to undertake recently is officially underway.
Cromier’s visit was one which gave a status update acknowledging that phase one of the project which relates largely to information gathering has begun. She even noted that a lot of community input was given at Saturday’s LaFayette Day celebration and presented council members with a large banner that had ideas for LaFayette’s new park from all age groups contributing. Cromier noted that one of the next major steps will be a visit to the site and a walkability study. She noted to council that an important attribute to the park will be that it will be walkable or accessible to bicycle for all residents of LaFayette.
In addition to the hard work going into the physical portions of the park Cromier also informed council of big things happening with the technological side of the park. One of the greatest technology related announcements related to a budgeted amount towards the development of a cyber presence of the park being nearly $2000 below budget already saving money on the massive project. Communication has also been made with Decatur, AL based Red Sage who recently built the new website for the city of LaFayette and they will be making updates to the city website with a new area for the park.
Cromier has also uploaded new photo’s to Smart Landscapes Facebook page from LaFayette Day as many local residents may be surprised to find themselves and ideas on the Facebook page with updates on the park. More public input will be sought out soon as public interest meeting coming in May along with a new website. This Thursday there will be an advisory team interest meeting at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. Although the dirt has not yet started moving things are moving along for the massive project that is set to change the image of downtown LaFayette for the long run.
A project that moved dirt a few years ago also got a thumbs up from city council as the council voted to approve an off-premises only and retail table wine off premises application for the Dollar General located along North U.S. Highway 431 in LaFayette. The approval of the application is key for the popular retailer to begin selling beer and wine in LaFayette.
Even more dirt was transferred around in the meeting as the City Council voted to convey nine cemetery deeds. Two resolutions were also approved by city council the first related to the MWPP report. The resolution supported an internal report card of LaFayette’s water plant by ADEM. The only infraction that LaFayette faced related to the age of the plant, but that infraction was one which did not exceed the limit so no action is required. LaFayette City Council also voted to extend its 911 contract with Chambers County Emergency Communication for another twelve month period. The extension does not require in additional cost to the city from previous years contracts.
Under the rainy skies of Monday afternoon Councilman Erick N. Vines brought up a matter before council that dealt directly with rainy days and that was ponding of water near the bridge on 1st Avenue. Superintendent George Green was able to ease the concerns brought up. Mr. Green stated that there is ongoing work and huge future plans for the area and the work that had occurred was only phase one of a project that has long term implications. Mr. Green stated that much of the work that had been done related to curb and side work, but he had goals down the line to even get guard rails approved in the budget and to continue work that will result in less water standing on the roadway during rains.
LaFayette’s city council also approved a major proclamation devoting April 24th thru April 30th as Parental Alienation week. There will be more news coming from council about that event in the near future. However council did note that on Monday April 25th they will be asking the community to show support and blow bubbles of love for ten minutes on that day. Before closing out the meeting the City Council voted to handle their business and to pay all the cities bills. Council will meet again in two weeks at City Hall on Alabama Avenue in downtown LaFayette.