LaFayette Sun News

Council discusses 2nd St. Bridge- to repair or not

Mayor Vines reads a Juneteenth proclamation alongside the celebration committee

By John Brice

The LaFayette City Council met on Monday, June 10th of 2024 at the Chambers County Farmers Federation Agricultural Center at the ALFA building in LaFayette. In attendance were Mayor Kenneth Vines, Councilman Terry G. Mangram, Councilman Toney B. Thomas, Councilman Michael C. Ellis and Councilwoman Tammie B. Williams. Assistant City Clerk Diane W. Perry, City Attorney Joseph M. Tucker, Fire Chief James Doody, Street, Sanitation and Cemetery Superintendent George Green, Electric Superintendent Chris Sanders, Wastewater Plant Superintendent Alan Gleaton and LaFayette Police Department Interim Chief Captain Christopher Trice were also present. The meeting began with an invocation led by Mayor Vines and standard procedures such as roll call as well as approval of the minutes from the previous meeting.
First up on the agenda was a Juneteenth Month proclamation where Mayor Vines joined a committee of volunteer organizers who are working in support of the upcoming celebration. After the proclamation was read by Mayor Vines, one of the volunteers remarked “We want to thank you all for joining us this year and we are looking for a representative of LaFayette Saturday, June 15th to bring greetings at the open ceremony downtown Lanett at the water fountain. This is our fourteenth Juneteenth celebration and our goal is to embrace the entire valley. Not just West Point, not just Lanett, but LaFayette and the whole of Chambers County. Hopefully, maybe next year we will have the event over here. Thank you so very much for joining us this year and for giving your employees a legal holiday.”
Councilman Thomas complimented the committee by noting “I did have the opportunity last year to come out and represent our City of LaFayette. I really enjoyed it and you guys continue to do the great work. “
Next up at the podium was Fire Chief James Doody with a discussion on the 9-11 museum flier that he had shared with the council. Doody stated “I was born and raised in New York and before coming to this lovely City of LaFayette, I was in Afghanistan for thirteen years. So, I made some connections. In front of you is a flier from the Tunnels to Towers foundation. Tunnels to Towers is a non-profit organization that provides mortgage-free homes to gold star families, wounded veterans and first responders. We all know that they were there when we lost an Auburn police officer a few years ago. Tunnels to Towers paid off that family’s mortgage.”
He went on to continue “I did some due diligence and research and found that they had a mobile 9/11 museum exhibit. It is an eighty-three foot long trailer but when deployed and set up it is eleven-hundred square feet of 9/11 memorabilia. It also is accompanied with four FDNY museum tour guides. Unbeknownst to me, I have come to find out that this unit has never been anywhere in the State of Alabama. I come to you tonight to say that we have secured it for 2025 9/11 through 9/15 at Southern Union’s campus.”
Superintendent Green then took to the podium to brief the council on a proposal for repairs on the 2nd Street NE Bridge. Councilman Ellis recommended designating that street as a dead end instead of spending a large amount of funds on a bridge repair for a low traffic street that only includes a small number of homes. Prioritizing streets in dire need of paving was a more pressing matter that Ellis emphasized.
Mayor Vines then briefly discussed a CDBG Planning Fund application proposal where he suggested considering the matter in an upcoming work session to which Councilman Thomas agreed.
Moving on to the next topic was a consideration of the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program (Section 5310) application submittal authorization as it relates to a new Senior Center van.
Councilman Thomas expressed his belief that it was a great idea to submit the application for LaFayette’s seniors to have access to a new van as other cities do already and the motion was approved.
At that point Superintendent Green provided a Community House update on repairs and renovations that have taken place at the public facility. Following that the next topics were the Alabama Municipal Insurance Corporation Voting Delegates for the Special Business Meeting of the Alabama Municipal Insurance Corporation on July 10 and the Alabama Municipal Insurance Corporation Proxy Authorization or authorize Sean Duke, President of AMIC to vote on behalf of the City. Voting on the 1st and 2nd alternates in the near future was highlighted as an important priority and the motion was approved for Duke to act as a proxy for the city.
Councilman Mangram shared positive feedback on progress that LaFayette has made which he has received from several municipal colleagues in other parts of Alabama. Councilman Thomas took the opportunity to thank Main Street for the compliments that he has received on the food truck events that local residents have enjoyed in the downtown area. Councilman Ellis then congratulated the LaFayette Dixie Youth baseball team for a tournament that they played in Beauregard where they finished in second place this past week and will now advance to another tournament in Montgomery later this month.
Councilwoman Williams made mention of the recent dog attacks in Valley and urged residents to exercise caution when outdoors in case a wild dog were to pose a threat. Councilman Thomas followed up by asking Interim Chief Trice about how they are addressing situations with dangerous dogs to which he responded that the police department has been utilizing its capability to hold up to two dogs in custody when necessary.
Attorney Tucker rounded out the meeting with a discussion on resolution no. 2024-06-10-01 regarding a professional service agreement with Local Government Services, LLC to assist with developing, negotiating and/ or amending the City’s pole attachment agreement with AT&T as well as resolution no. 2024-06-10-02 regarding a professional services agreement with Harmon Engineering & Contracting for the upcoming Water System project utilizing State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. Both resolutions were approved with roll call votes and the meeting was adjourned.

Leave a Reply