Lanett tables discussion on annexation request
Published 10:00 am Friday, December 30, 2022
LANETT — The Lanett City Council met Wednesday evening to handle a light agenda, the main issue of which was a request to have some property on Phillips Road annexed into the city. The site is located across the road from the Hampton Inn & Suites.
The council acted to table that request to a future meeting so they can research the cost and benefits of bringing a five-acre site into the city. There’s a possibility five new businesses could be located on that site. A new restaurant would be built just off Phillips Road with a strip mall containing four new businesses on the same site.
The property owner wants to come into the city to receive sewer service for the site. The Hampton Inn is getting such service from Lanett, and a line could be run across Phillips Road to service the five-acre site. The city would benefit from the sewer service revenue and the sales tax generated from five new businesses.
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No one on the council seems opposed to the request, but there appears to be a consensus among the council members to know what it will cost to run a sewer line before a commitment is made.
“I want to make sure we are doing the right thing for the city,” said Council Member Angelia Thomas.
City Attorney Stanley Gray said the proposed ordinance deals just with annexation and not with any other factors.
The city appears to be in a situation where they would be making a short-term expense of possibly $200,000 to have the long-term benefit of having the revenue generated by five new businesses.
Council Member Tony Malone called for the action to be tabled and to have a roll call vote. The motion to table was approved in a 5-1 vote with Mayor Jamie Heard being the only no vote.
Heard made it clear he wanted to go ahead and approve the annexation request.
Council Member Tifton Dobbs said he was all for future growth for Lanett and that the only place for the city to grow was on the southwest side, near Exit 77.
Exit 77 off I-85 is widely seen as a growth area for both Lanett and Valley. Valley owns approximately 1,200 acres of land on its side of the interstate and is holding it for industry, commercial and residential growth. Lanett has the airport and the Hampton on its side.
Heard is confident the council will come around once all the pros and cons are discussed.
The council did approve a resolution to do the engineering work involved in the sewer line extension. Harris Gray of West Point has been hired to do this work. The city has approximately $500,000 in American Rescue Funds that could be used for this purpose.
The council also approved an updated employee personnel policy handbook. The city first adopted such a handbook in 1986.
Malone said he’d rather see the American Rescue funds money being spent on street paving and water line improvements.
Councilman Dobbs said he had some concerns about some planned streetscape improvements along First Street. Plans call for some islands to be built the the road and that this would eliminate some parking spaces.
“I’m concerned how this might affect businesses there,” he said.