LaFayette City Council revisits gazebo issue

Published 11:00 am Saturday, December 25, 2021

At their meeting on Monday, the LaFayette City Council revisited an issue pertaining to a gazebo in the LaFayette City Cemetery. Carolyn Wheeler, who’s been volunteering at the cemetery for 10 years, had said previously that the foundation of the gazebo was giving way and that eight posts of the gazebo have rotted at the bottom.

City Clerk Louis Davidson said he believed that Wheeler and George Green, superintendent of Street, Sanitation, and Cemetery, had had a difficult time getting quotes to have the gazebo repaired.

“It was recommended that we advertise,” Davidson said. “We advertised. Three weeks, we had… We were supposed to have an opening on Dec. 16 — Thursday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m., and we didn’t have anything submitted. So currently, right now, we’re still sitting with the same proposal that we received from, I think it was WG Vines months back. Superintendent Green reached out this afternoon, and Mr. Vines said that he would still hold that price, which was $6,800.”

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Davidson said that only having one quote was a problem because the City of LaFayette has a policy that it’s supposed to have three bids before it can choose one.

Mayor Kenneth Vines commented that running ads asking for bids may cost more money than the bid the city would end up choosing. The city had been running ads in The LaFayette Sun.

“I guess we can put it in [the] form that once we have exhausted all of our appeals, that we have went through all of the process… I want to make sure we go through the proper procedures,” Vines said. “Once that comes back and it’s still one bid, I think we have to move forward on the [issue].”

City Attorney Joseph Tucker suggested that someone review the three-bid policy and see if an exception needs to be incorporated into the policy. The council voted to approve his recommendation.

During another portion of the meeting, Councilmember Terry Mangram said the council needed to decide on its budget and decide whether to pass a proposed one-cent sales tax it had discussed before.

“I will just mention that as far as the one-cent sales tax is concerned, if you don’t believe that we should be doing the one-cent sales tax, I would like for you to please bring something forward in a manner that we can increase funds for the city,” he said.

Mangram expressed frustration over the council taking too long to make decisions. The council discussed addressing Mangram’s concerns at another meeting.

Councilman Michael Ellis said that that morning, as he arrived at the courthouse, he noticed a business owner had nowhere to park in front of her business.

“So, I think we need to look at the parking situation as far as… especially for the business owners uptown around the square,” he said. “Maybe designate some parking spaces for the business owners? At least maybe one or two? And look at, too, public parking.”

Councilmember T. Shannon Hunter said putting up parking signs would be a good start. He said there was a public parking area near the McClendon building with no sign labeling it as public.

Mayor Vines thanked the LaFayette Christmas Committee for their work on the Christmas parade.