LaFayette citizen expresses concern over infrastructure

Published 7:34 am Wednesday, August 10, 2022

LAFAYETTE — A citizen of LaFayette, Seneathia Williams, expressed her concern over the city’s growth and infrastructure at the city council meeting on Monday. Williams has been a citizen of LaFayette for four years and was originally from the Lanett area.

Williams started her discussion by first noting why she decided to speak at the council meeting and where she thought LaFayette’s issues originally stemmed from.

“I am here because I care about the future of the city, and now’s the time to put things in place. Not for just the next generation but future generations,” she said. “When [the textile mills] left, it affected West Point, Lanett and LaFayette across the board. The difference is, West Point has rebounded.”

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Williams went on to discuss items she believes every city needs in order to grow, including infrastructure, medical care facilities, quality schools and recreation for kids, emergency services and commercial businesses. Williams decided to primarily focus on infrastructure, in which she noted that LaFayette has frequent power outages and that she has had multiple problems with flooding, both of which have negatively impacted her from-home baking business.

“It wasn’t a rainy day when I first came to look at my house, so I didn’t know water sat on the side of the roads the way it did, and I wasn’t aware of the power outages I would experience,” Williams said. “You have no idea how many times when the winds are just blowing that the power goes out. Oh, but it’s also a couple of minutes, right? Well that is not good when you’re baking.”

Williams suggested that a potential fix to the power outages would be to install underground power lines. She also said that roads and water quality were also important factors to improving infrastructure, as they were the “face of the city.”

“Sitting in your seats, you never want to talk about increasing anything with your constituents, but sometimes they have got to realize that they get what they pay for,” Williams said. “When you go to the grocery store, how many of you get to negotiate on the price of your eggs and your milk now? Nobody asked you before to increase those prices…it has to be done to stay in business and a city is an ever evolving business.”

After she finished speaking, several members of the council took time to respond with their own comments. Recently appointed Councilman David Ennis noted that these improvements were all things that the council was aware of and wanted to implement.

“Suffice to say, you are preaching to the choir,” Ennis said. “We know all of those things are important and necessary.”

Councilman Toney Thomas took time to thank Williams for her time.

“We really appreciate your input, anytime. We wish we had more citizens like yourself,” he said.