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CCDA, GVACC updates LaFayette City Council

On Monday, Chris Busby, the Chambers County Development Authority Director of Commercial & Community Development, updated the LaFayette City Council about new developments going on in LaFayette.

The biggest item of news was the announcement of the addition of Environmental Recycling Solutions. ERS, which is based in Opelika, is a company that “can solve all of your environmental and industrial challenges,” according to its website.

“They were supposed to start earlier this year but the combination of rain and the pandemic slowed them down,” Busby said. “They’re really good people.”

The location in LaFayette is located off U.S. 431 in the LaFayette Industrial Park. ERS built its own building and will take over a 10-acre lot that runs between Alabama-Georgia Wood Preserving and the Kardoes Rubber building.

It will add about 10 to 15 jobs since they will be splitting business between Opelika and LaFayette.

The Kardoes building, which has been vacant for about a year, has had someone interested in buying the building, but Busby said they are waiting to hear back from Texfold, who currently owns the building. They are waiting to hear back about the condition of the building and how much they are trying to sell it for.

Busby also announced a partnership between CCDA, Point Broadband, an internet company based in West Point, and Tallapoosa River Electric Cooperative. The partnership will bring broadband throughout TREC’s territory, most of which don’t have access to internet. Busby said that they should find out about that plan by the end of September. It is an $80 million project.

“We know that there is a substantial population in LaFayette that doesn’t have broadband, but they have access to it,” Busby said. “That is another problem that we are looking at. Maybe we do a community WIFI because some just can’t afford it. It’s a two-prong approach.”

Busby said that they hope to have this in place by 2021.

Councilmember Michael Ellis asked Busby if there was a chance that the CCDA could bring a hotel to LaFayette. Busby said that before the pandemic shut down the industries, the CCDA was pushing to bring a hotel and movie theater to Chambers County.

He also brought up “Shop Where I Live Chambers County,” which is a retail directive that was started to bring more attention to local businesses state and even countrywide. It is supposed to be like Amazon, but for Chambers County stores.

“Any retail business can get on this website. We can add up to 400 businesses for free,” Busby said. “They can sell their goods online. If you don’t have a website, you can get on there and sell your goods online.”

Restaurants can place pick-up orders and place reservations on this website as well.

Carrie Royster from the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce also updated on the Chamber of Commerce’s recent activity.

She told the council about the scholarship that was awarded to Chambers Academy’s Maci Harmon. It was the first time the Chamber had given out a scholarship.“We were very excited about that,” Royster said. The Junior Ambassador of the year was Hazel Floyd from Valley High School.

The Junior Ambassador program has been opened up for registration, but because of the number of students that have shown interest, the total number has been capped at 50.

“I left on Friday and we had 46 students registered, and when I came back on Monday, we had 52,” Royster said.

She told the council about the upcoming Chambers Tailgate, which will take place on July 24. There will be hot dogs and pizza along with the local school’s football coaches and some of the teams.

The council also was introduced to the new officers from the LaFayette Police Department.

The new officers are Justin Moody, Devonte Aaron, Chris Waldrop and Colby Handcock. Waldrop is a former officer who was a bad wreck. He has worked his way back to the department.