City of Lanett moves forward with creating riverfront park plan

Published 7:55 am Thursday, September 22, 2022

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LANETT — The City of Lanett has entered an agreement with the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission (EARPDC) to have a plan to develop a riverfront park on the city’s east side. The total cost to see if such a plan is feasible will be equally divided between the two entities with each paying $10,000 for the first year and $15,000 for the second year.

A resolution to do this was approved in Monday’s council meeting.

For the next two years, the Anniston-based commission will convert the city’s existing base map into a new computer map to create additional data layers within the city’s police jurisdiction. The new map will show section lines, parcel lines, roads, street names, railroads, major transmission lines and pipelines and major building footprints and houses. There will also be an analysis of housing conditions, community facilities, the water system, sewer system, functional street classification, soil suitability for development, 100 and 500-year floodplains, water resources (creeks, lakes, wetlands, etc.), existing land use and future land use.

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The EARPDC will prepare a new comprehensive plan for the city and (where appropriate) its planning jurisdiction.

Councilman Tony Malone is elated for a plan for riverfront development to be put into action. 

“People are always asking me about what kind of plans we have an average citizen can enjoy,” he said.

He said that the development of a municipal airport was a great idea but did not directly benefit the average Lanett resident.

“I have always been for a progressive city,” he wrote in a prepared statement. “I know that our neighbors like West Point and Valley are growing. We can grow, too, but must be ready. If not, we will be left behind.”

Malone said the city’s infrastructure is in for some upgrading. 

“We need new water and gas lines, a second power substation, more paved streets, sidewalks, affordable housing, the list goes on. I believe that everyone on this council would like to see these things happen, and they can. We are putting talk to action by approving this plan tonight. The EARPDC will be creating a plan for a riverfront park as well as a new comprehensive plan to guide future growth. Lanett residents should be happy to see that after years of talking about doing things by previous administrations, this mayor and council is acting on a plan to develop our riverfront.”

Site development could include clearing the understory beneath the historic Reed Pecan Grove and having a well maintained area beneath. Aerial photographs taken from the north side of the Lanett Bleachery & Dye Works/Lanett mill site over 100 years ago now show how well that site was maintained at that time. The site where Tanyard Creek empties into the Chattahoochee River was a popular swimming hole at that time. It’s also the site where two states, two cities and three counties meet.

Malone is upbeat about this project. 

“One day you will see walking trails, boat ramp access, picnic grounds and maybe even an amphitheater on our section of river,” he said. “With the Chambers County Development Authority (CCDA) continuing to work on the future development of the mill site, maybe we can see some retail going in there.”