LaFayette approves grant application to pave roads

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2022

At the LaFayette City Council meeting on Monday, Allen Tucker of Harmon Engineering and George Green, superintendent of the Street, Sanitation, and Cemetery Department, spoke to the council about the Rebuild Alabama Act Annual Grant Program, which is administered through the Alabama Department of Transportation.

“It’s a maximum of $250,000,” Tucker said. “There’s no matching funds. That’s a good thing. The only cost to the city, if they want to do this grant, is the city has to pay the engineering costs.”

Tucker said the grant is competitive and that the deadline to apply for it is Friday. He said he worked with Green to come up with a project that would cost about $250,000.

What they came up with was to mill and resurface Avenue A Southeast from the intersection with First Street at the library to a little past Eastside Elementary. Tucker said this stretch of road wouldn’t use up all the funds.

He said ALDOT is looking for projects with a lot of visibility.

The packets Tucker and Green had handed out also suggested resurfacing Maple Street and Lovern Drive, which Tucker said were “destroyed.” Green said Maple Street and Lovern Drive were so bad off that they wouldn’t fit into his budget, so the grant was a good opportunity to fix them.

Councilmember Michael Ellis said that in his district, Second Avenue Southwest was also in need of paving. He requested that Tucker and Green take a look at it, arguing that it was a high visibility area.

Councilmember Terry Mangram also thought it would be a good idea for the city to pave Second Avenue “from the bridge out.” He suggested that the city prioritize Second Avenue and only move on to Maple Street and Lovern Drive if there was money left over. He said Maple Street has more residents than Lovern Drive and is in worse condition. Councilmember T. Shannon Hunter agreed this was a good plan.

The council voted to pursue the grant to do paving on Avenue A and Second Avenue Southwest, primarily, and then to work on Maple Street and Lovern Drive, in that order, with any money left over.

In other business at the meeting, City Clerk Louis Davidson announced that the City of LaFayette had been awarded a Community Development Block Grant to do repairs to the water plant.

Superintendent Ann Gleaton of the city water plant said the grant amount is $500,000.

She said the money would go toward the intake system at the lake, a generator for the water plant, a generator for the pump house and some repairs.

Davidson said there would be an award ceremony for the grant money on Jan. 20 in Montgomery at 2 p.m.

“What happens is they’ll have all the recipients, and then Governor Ivey will be there, and you’ll get a chance to take a picture with a big check that has the amount on there and whatnot,” Davidson said. “So if anybody wants to attend, let me know as soon as possible so I can add your name to the list.”

Davidson also announced that the deadline to apply for the AMEA Scholarship program is Feb 14.

“We give out four scholarships of $2,500 to seniors that will be attending school in the State of Alabama,” he said. “If you have any friends or family members, just put the word out. Applications are available at City Hall, Chambers Academy and LaFayette High School.”

Davidson announced that the Municipal Housing Code Abatement Board will meet on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 5 p.m. at the Farmers Federation (Alfa Insurance) Building.

“This is kind of necessary so we can start jumpstarting things with our code enforcement officer,” Davidson said.

Davidson said City Attorney Joseph Tucker will go over the powers and procedures of the board.

“Code Enforcement Officer [Jamison] Hammond will be there as well so they can start discussing properties that are in really, really bad shape, and I think Superintendent Green will be at the meeting as well,” Davidson said.

Near the end of the meeting, the council decided to hold a budget meeting at 5:30 p.m. ET on Thursday at City Hall.