LaFayette City Council approves slight adjustment to OnMed agreement

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2022

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During their meeting on Monday, April 25, the LaFayette City Council approved an addendum to an agreement with OnMed concerning the Rural Health Project, which is intended to help provide better health coverage for citizens of LaFayette and Chambers County.

City Attorney Joseph (Mac) Tucker explained that most of the grant funding for OnMed would go through Chambers County. The proposed addendum would limit the amount Chambers County is responsible for paying to the amount of a Community Development Block Grant grant it acquired through ADECA. He said the addendum wouldn’t affect the City of LaFayette.

Councilmember T. Shannon Hunter asked if the addendum was just a clarification or if it would actually change anything about the agreement. Tucker said his understanding was that it was just a clarification.

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“As a general rule, in agreements like this, when they come before the county, they want to be real careful that they don’t commit to funding other than what they commit to,” Tucker said. “And the way the original agreement read, it just said the funding was going to be done by Chambers County. And all it’s doing here is limiting it to the amount of the grant.”

Hunter asked if this meant that the City of LaFayette was committing to spend money on the project. Tucker said the city hasn’t committed to any installation costs or any other ongoing costs other than those associated with the OnMed building itself.

Tucker read what the city would do in the agreement.

“The city’s going to keep someone on the commission,” he said. “They will provide the whole facility — that’s the building — assist in the development and execution of publicity and marketing efforts, provide ongoing security for the whole site (which includes regular police patrols, not necessarily having somebody there), provide insurance for the host building (which we already have), pay building utility fees including water, power and natural gas, provide ongoing janitorial and extermination services and maintain communication with the commission. Again, talking about what’s going on at the facility.”

Tucker explained the county’s duties in the agreement.

“The county is going to be a member of the commission,” he said. “The county is going to assist with the development and execution of publicity and marketing efforts. Again, talk about it. And then, they’re going to provide financial support through funding acquired via a CDBG grant through ADECA up to an amount determined by the county commission not to exceed the grant amount.”

In other business at the meeting, the council approved a Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) agreement to provide water and sewer assistance to people who need it. City Clerk Louis Davidson said it was very similar to a program the City of LaFayette already has, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps citizens pay electricity bills.

“This is something that the federal government passed down to the states and the states are doing it through local communities,” he said. “It’s a way to assist our most needy citizens.”

The council also voted to reschedule a city council meeting planned for Monday, Aug. 22, 2022, to Monday, Aug. 29 so it wouldn’t fall on the same day as an ALFA Insurance shareholder meeting that would be held in the same building.