City of Lanett hires Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, January 20, 2022

LANETT — The City of Lanett has hired the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia (MGAG) to handle the paperwork for the city’s natural gas department. The city presently purchases its natural gas from MGAG. The new arrangement would relieve the city’s gas department from being responsible for doing the paperwork that’s required by the State of Alabama.

MGAG representatives Gene Taylor and Brian Smith were at the meeting to discuss what was at stake with the new arrangement. Taylor told the council that the city would be billed for the service but that it won’t be burdensome for the typical natural gas user. Taylor estimated an increase of approximately 14 cents per year for the typical natural gas user living in the Lanett city limits.

A resolution approving a contract for MGAG was approved with the stipulation that Lanett City Attorney Stanley Gray studies it in detail and finds it legally appropriate.

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Mayor Jamie Heard told the council that he and City Clerk/Treasurer Deborah Gilbert met with MGAG representatives last week to discuss the proposal and felt it to be a good idea to enter into such an arrangement. Heard said it will make it more likely the city will stay in compliance with the state rules to do it this way.

“You can either do it for yourself, or we can do it for you,” Smith said. “At present, your Gas Department doesn’t have the manpower to do this.”

“We are a nonprofit, and we will be looking out for your best interests,” Taylor said.

Council Member Tifton Dobbs suggested tabling the matter to give the full council time to study it.

Council Member Tony Malone seemed inclined to agree with that.  He asked Taylor if the city had not been compliant with its Gas Department. Taylor said he did not know.

Council Member Charles Looser asked what the rate the city will be charged is based on.

Taylor said it would be based on the number of miles of gas mains and gas services.

Mayor Heard said that MGAG had served the city well.

“I think this is the best route for us to go to make sure we are in compliance with our paperwork,” he said.

Gray said that this possible action had been presented to him on Friday and that he needed time to study it.

“I don’t want to delay this council from taking action,” he said. “You can approve it tonight with the condition I can review it in detail and make some recommendations later, if needed.”

With Heard clearly wanting it approved at Monday’s meeting, Malone made a motion to do that, provided “we can clear up a few things later, if we need to.”

Council Member Tamalita Autry seconded it and the motion passed in a 4-1 vote with Dobbs voting against.

In other discussion at the meeting, Heard said that he wanted to do something about unsightliness in some parts of town. He said he wanted every council district in the city looking good.

He made it clear that every city residence is required to have a roller-style waste can and has to be in front of their home the day AmWaste makes their pickups.

“If you don’t have a garbage can, what are you doing with your trash?” he asked. “One of my goals is to clean this city up. Everybody has to have a garbage can and to pay for garbage service.”

The mayor said that people have to pay for sewage as well.

Some Lanett residents receive their water from the Huguley Water Authority and pay their water bill to them. The sewage, though, is provided by the city and is on the monthly utility bill.

For those in the city on Huguley water, Lanett charges for electricity, gas, sewer service and garbage pickup.

Malone asked City Inspector Teddy Morris if people were allowed to do any burning in the city.

“They can burn leaves but not trash,” he said.

“What are the repercussions for those who are doing this?” Dobbs asked.

Morris said it was state law to have household garbage picked up. It’s a fine to burn it.

In other action, the city approved resolutions to seek bids for roof repair at city hall and to enter an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) on some coming improvements on the portion of I-85 that’s in the Lanett city limits. This includes the south-bound lane from the west bank of the Chattahoochee River to just north of Exit 70 at Cusseta. The agreement involves new lighting at Exit 79 and along the interstate to the new welcome center. New traffic signals will also be coming to Highway 29 at the interchange. The north-bound lane is in the Valley city limits and will see the same improvements. Bids will be out for the project in February.

The city approved the transfer of an off-premise beer and wine license for Jaymi LLC, which has purchased Raceway 6860 on Broad Avenue from Moe All in One Stop, Inc.

Another alcohol license was approved for Jason Abernathy, who plans to open a business near the intersection of South 8th Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway.

The council will meet in a work session that’s set for 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 24. The next regular meeting will take place on the first Monday in March.