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Spire updates LaFayette council on project

At its first meeting in May, the LaFayette City Council received an update on the Spire Gas project that began in early March.

Spire Inspector Barry Butler was there to provide an update on the pipe replacement project.

Phase III was the first part of the plan and included Ave. A in front of Eastside Elementary and the cemetery, 4th Place SE, 1st Ave SE and Hill Street. The second phase will include 1st street, 2nd Ave NW, Court Way NW, 1st Street SE and Court Place NW. Phase I will be along 431 and will include Ave A SE, 1st Street SE and 1st Place SE.

Spire started in reverse order to try to get the necessary permits from ALDOT while working on the other two phases. According to Butler, Spire does not have those permits yet.

“At this time, we’ve completed phase III, with exception of the retirement of the old iron-cast lines,” Butler said. “We’re currently about halfway through phase II with the main installation of that phase. Phase I we have not begun yet. We’re waiting for permits from ALDOT [the Alabama Department of Transportation] so that we can perform the necessary work on Highway 431 in town.”

Butler said he does not know when the permits will be issued.

When the council originally heard Spire’s pitch in February, Spire’s goal was to be finished with its work before the city’s repaving project would begin.

“We’ve come up with a plan so [Chris Clark Grading and Paving] could get started,” Butler said. “I told them that we will work with Mr. Clark, and the city to make things as convenient and cooperative as possible to try to facilitate his project along with ours as quickly as possible.”

Butler said there are areas in the city that Spire is going to work first so the repaving project can begin, specifically on First Place and Second Street.

“I talked with the foreman at Miller, who is the contractor on the project, and we’ve agreed to go ahead and work as diligently as possible to get those streets completed so he can work on those two streets,” Butler said. “We’ll just keep communicating and working together to try to stay ahead of it.”

Butler said based on his conversation with the Miller foreman, there would be extra crews finishing up other projects and heading to LaFayette to assist relatively soon.

The project will replace 3.72 miles of old pipes. Butler said the goal is to be done with the project before the end of Spire’s fiscal year at the very latest.

Also at the meeting, the council recognized the four students from LaFayette to receive Alabama Municipal Electric Authority scholarships. Chambers Academy’s Dean Sheffield and LaFayette’s Nadya Heard, Vadaja Perry and Vakiya Story were the 2021 recipients.

“The city of LaFayette and AMEA come together to award scholarships to outstanding students at LaFayette High School and Chambers Academy,” Vines said. “Over the course of the years, the collaborative effort has been really good to the students and to the city. We’re so proud to award these scholarships for these outstanding students.”