LaFayette hires new electric Superintendent

Published 8:28 am Thursday, February 11, 2021

At Monday’s council meeting, the LaFayette City Council approved the hire of Chris Samuels as the city’s electric superintendent.

Samuels has been working as the interim superintendent since Randy Norred retired from the city in December.

“I want to thank the Utility Committee for doing a fine job, for their input and getting us a quick response to get this position filled,” Mayor Kenneth Vines said. “Besides the police department and fire department, that is a very important department out there dealing with our utilities.”

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Samuel will be paid $50,000 annually, which will increase to $52,000 annually after a successful six-month evaluation.

According to Samuel, the electric department has three workers including himself. It is budgeted to have four plus the superintendent. Samuel also said one of the employees is thinking about retiring, so the department will be looking to make a couple of hires by the end of the year.

During the hearing of petitions and complaints section of the meeting, Councilmember Michael Ellis brought up a couple of safety concerns.

Ellis said that he had received a request from a resident asking if there could be a children-at-play sign at 7th Ave SW and Pinecrest Drive.

“There are a lot of kids in that neighborhood,” Ellis said.

Ellis also wanted to look into putting speed bumps in 2nd Ave SW to help enforce the speed limit.

“It’s like the LaFayette 500,” Ellis said. “Maybe that is something that we can look at to steady that and see if that is possible. If not, somebody is probably going to be hurt or killed out there.”

Before the meeting started, Councilmember Shannon Hunter led a work session discussing the topics that were brought up at the Streets and Sanitation Committee meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

One of the first items of discussion was the Yeargan Drive paving request that was brought up during the previous council meeting. According to Hunter, one of the biggest problems with the project are three lots on Yeargan Drive are improperly subdivided.

“It is imperative that the city determines the width of any right away before beginning any work thereof. Because of the nature of the perspective right away, proper permission, surveys, engineering plans and appeasement should be attained before doing any significant right away,” City Attorney Mac Tucker wrote in 2012.

The other big point of discussion was the intersection of LaFayette Street North and Alabama Ave.

In that intersection, there are several vehicles that are parked on the sidewalk, which makes it tough for pedestrians wanting to use the sidewalk and those trying to turn onto LaFayette Street.

“It creates a hazard for pedestrians that have to walk out into the street to get where they’re going. It also creates a hazard for people coming up to the intersection because they can’t see through those vehicles,” Hunter said.

Hunter said most of the cars’ license plates are expired and are not able to be driven on the road.