Our View: Lanett is riding a hot streak

Published 3:03 pm Tuesday, August 20, 2019

This week marks the start of football season, and local fans hope to see their favorite school play well. If the Rams or Panthers, or one of the other local schools play well enough, fans might even say they are on a hot streak.

That’s what happens when you win three, four or five times in a row. Maybe that’ll happen, but in this case, we’re using a sports analogy to make a larger point.

You could say that the city of Lanett and the Chambers County Development Authority is on a hot streak of sorts, but we’re not sure that’s a strong enough description of what’s transpired.

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In just the last year, Lanett keeps hitting the local equivalent of winning the jackpot with a lot of small wins that the city hopes add up to a brighter future.

Last week, Mayor Kyle McCoy announced that Tractor Supply will be the first business to move to the old Lanett Mill Site, which until a few months ago was an eyesore for the city. Lanett took its destiny into its own hands, purchasing the Lanett Mill property and clearing it off.

Other cities in Alabama could learn from that move. Instead of expecting someone else to clean up a forgotten landmark, the city, with help from the CCDA saw the potential of the property and made a move.

Of course, no one thought that move would pay dividends so quickly. McCoy thought it might be a year before the mill site was even cleaned up enough to attract a retailer, but it’s only been a few months.

Hopefully, there’s more good news on the way too.

The hope is that Tractor Supply is the first of several big fish to open up in Lanett. If that’s the case, cleaning up the mill site will prove as a positive move over and over again by providing more retail options for Lanett residents and generating more sales tax dollars.

However, the good news doesn’t end there.

Lanett’s new downtown fountain opened on Monday night, marking another completed phase of the city’s streetscape project. The fountain is expected to change colors during specific seasons of the year, and McCoy hopes it becomes a popular photo spot.

This past weekend, about a hundred people attended the Lanett Film Festival, which showcased movies from around the country. Festival coordinators called this year’s festival the best year yet with several filmmakers, along with actors and actresses coming to Lanett and West Point to talk about their films. The event is still in its infancy, but it’s clearly growing, and its uniqueness in this area leads you to believe it’ll continue tracking the right direction.

Every year, it’s bringing more people to Lanett who had never been here before. 

There aren’t many cities with a population of around 6,000 people that can top Lanett’s last four days or last four months, which is a credit to McCoy and the rest of the city’s leadership.

Lanett is clearly on a hot streak, one that doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon. Local residents have to be excited about the city’s future given the recent developments.