LaFayette council approves new uniforms

Published 7:49 am Thursday, March 11, 2021

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After talking about purchasing new uniforms for several years and not taking any action, the LaFayette City Council approved a bid from Unifest.

The yearly total bid from Unifest was $11,619.40, which is a little under $600 cheaper than the next closest bid.

“It’s an issue. It’s been something that we’ve been talking about for years,” city clerk Louis Davidson said. “You had at one point in time where employees just wanted uniforms so bad that they paid for them themselves, and they still do. It is something that we definitely need to do.”

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Though the city currently does not have the cost for the new uniforms planned in its budget, which is still a draft, the council unanimously approved the purchase of the new uniforms.

“It’s not right for those guys to wear their own clothes and take it back home. That raw sewage is bad and when you have to use your own clothes, that’s bad,” Water Distribution Superintendent Richard Chapman said.

The council also approved Mayor Kenneth Vines to request a safety review from the State Department of Transportation Office on Highway 431 that goes through town. It passed 2-1. Councilmember Toney B Thomas voted against the motion.

Though he voted for the review, Councilmember Terry Mangram brought up the fact that there is not room along 431 to make changes if any are needed.

“We don’t want to shoot ourselves in the foot by trying to do certain things that we are sitting here thinking will make things a whole lot better,” Mangaram said. “I’ve heard the word used is bypass. I understand what we’re trying to get to bypass LaFayette, but if you get the trucks out of town that’s okay, but you’re not going to open a road up just for trucks. You’re going to take the people that are coming through town out of town also. Let’s be careful of what we’re trying to do as far as improvements and not try to shoot ourselves in the foot.”

The council also heard a presentation from Chris Busby, Director of Commercial and Community Development, on the CCDAs work with LaFayette in the past year.

One of the biggest projects Busby and the CCDA have with the city is working on the Main Street Alabama project.

“Main Street Alabama is focused on bringing jobs, dollars and people back to Alabama’s historic communities. Economic development is at the heart of this statewide organization’s efforts to revitalize downtowns and neighborhoods across the state,” Main Street Alabama’s website reads.

The city and CCDA had been working together last year and in late 2019 working to apply for the designation but had to stop once COVID-19 hit in March.

“We picked it back up in December. Luckily, we had a lot of things in place,” Busby said. “We have to submit our final application on May 1, but we’ve already submitted our intent to apply. Within the next week or two, we’ll be sending out information to all the business owners in the city and how they can be involved and what is next for us. The big goal for us is to have our downtown designated as a Main Street community. It’s going to bring in businesses, help existing businesses and help our community as a whole.”

Mangram brought up the issue of one-ways not being followed within the city, especially at 5th Circle and 7th Ave, which is right in front of J.P. Powell Middle School.

“At the J.P. Powell issue, I think we have a city ordinance for that street to be a one-way at a certain time of day, being the mornings and afternoons,” Mangram said. “I’m pretty sure that’s not being followed. It makes things look bad when you have signs saying one-way and people are absolutely going the other way. I think it’s just an enforcement thing. No one can sit there and guard it all day, but at the school, there is a potential to correct that issue.”

Chapman announced that the water distribution plant will be flushing its system for a month starting on April 6. The flushing will start at 7 a.m. CT and end at 2 p.m. every day.

“I’m going to hand-deliver a letter to all the businesses. We’re going to start at the plant, then hit the north side, the east side, the south side then hit the west side,” Chapman said.