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Construction of new LaFayette city park underway

LaFAYETTE — LaFayette Mayor Barry Moody called and wanted me to bring the public up to date on the construction of the new 50.2 acre LaFayette City Park.

Since financing is always a consideration on any public infrastructure, the City Council and the Mayor have made great strides in funding the park. The 50.2 acre site was purchased in 2014 for $105,000 ($2,071/Acre). Since the purchase, $4,122 was paid to Southern Pines Farm for clearing the site including stump removal. Now underway is a $75,000 contract negotiated with Chris Clark Construction for site preparation. The City has managed to get a grant from the Land and Water Conservation in the amount of $50,000 and the Alabama Municipal Electrical Authority in the amount of $20,000, which will pay for the extensive site preparation work.

There is a Master Plan drawn for the Park that will utilize fully the 50 acres.  There will be a children’s playground of play equipment, 6 benches and accessories.  This has already been purchased for $47,147 through a grant from the Chambers County Extension Office and is currently in storage. There will also be a family playground in which adults can join with the children, a family picnic shelter, more picnic tables, an open air pavilion, an event center with an office, sports and athletic fields, walking trails and nature trails. These facilities will be constructed per priority designated by the City Council and availability of funds.

Currently the only access to the Park is using city street 4th Place SE. This is a residential street and the residents are not happy at the prospect of a lot of traffic on the street. Mayor Moody says another entrance will be constructed near the southwest corner of the Park at the location of the J P Powell Middle School.  That should greatly alleviate any traffic through the residential street. Since the park will be closed at night and during bad weather, some consideration will also have to be given on how to reverse a vehicle if the park is closed such that neighbors’ lawns and driveways will not be compromised. 

All utilities will be supplied to the Park. Plans are to place the utility cables and water pipe underground. The plan calls for restroom facilities and other amenities such as water fountains and sprinklers to be installed.

Mayor Moody is planning on obtaining cooperation from other sources to help cover some of the financial investment. The Park will not be only a facility for local residents but a factor in improving the quality of life for the entire area.  Despite the initial costs, the intangible benefits that a park provides can be priceless.