Lanett council approves new solid waste contractor

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, April 19, 2023

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LANETT — The Lanett City Council has approved a service agreement for a new solid waste contractor. C&C Sanitation of LaGrange will succeed AmWaste in providing this service to city residents.

Mayor Jamie Heard and the council discussed a rate increase in a work session prior to the 6 p.m. regular session on Monday. The monthly rates will be going up, though the council will officially vote on that at a later date. The present residential rate is $17.82 per month. The council talked about increasing that to $21 a month.

The council also approved a new five-year service agreement with Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood to continue serving as a consultant for the Lanett Regional Airport. Based in Montgomery, GM&C provides engineering services for the airport and has come up with a master plan for its development. They will have input on continuing work that will be taking place there such as resurfacing the taxiway and the runway apron. There’s also a need to have hangars and tie-down spaces for planes that will be based at Lanett Regional.

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The council approved a resolution to observe and participate in the 2023 back to school sales tax holiday. This will be taking place the weekend starting at midnight on Friday, July 21 and extending to midnight on Sunday, July 23.

The holiday was declared by the state legislature a number of years ago. The suspension of state sales taxes that weekend helps parents of school-age children to save on purchases of designated back-to-school items. Cities and counties can participate by passing resolutions.

Proclamations were approved by the council to support this year’s Hike/Bike/Run for Valley Haven School and to recognize the month of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Don Cleveland, the overall chairman for the Hike/Bike/Run, was present to accept a copy of the proclamation on behalf of Valley Haven. Amanda Carpenter of the Rape Counselors of East Alabama was at the meeting to accept the proclamation in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The 47th annual Hike/Bike/Run fundraiser will be taking place on Saturday, May 6. The annual Hike/Bike/Run Auction takes place at the school this Friday, April 21. The LaFayette Day fundraiser was scheduled for Saturday, April 8 but was postponed due to stormy weather being in the forecast. It has been rescheduled to Saturday, May 20.

“We proclaim the week of April 30 to May 6 as Hike/Bike/Run Week in the City of Lanett,” the proclamation reads, “and we call upon our citizens of our city to join with thousands of other individuals in generously helping to provide the funds to support Valley Haven School.”

Sexual Violence Awareness Month calls attention to the fact that sexual violence is widespread and impacts every person in the community. This annual observance aims to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities how to prevent it.

Heard and members of the council took turns expressing heartfelt sympathy to the City of Dadeville, which experienced a mass shooting over the weekend. The incident took place at a Saturday night sweet sixteen birthday party and has drawn national attention. Four people were fatally shot and 34 others injured in the incident.

Ambulances from Lanett, LaFayette and East Alabama were called to assist in transporting wounded people to hospitals. “Let’s keep praying for the people in Dadeville,” Council Member Tony Malone said.

Heard said this incident hit close to home. “Something like this can happen anywhere now,” he said.

Natasha Royal of the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission, Anniston, was present at the meeting to brief the council on what the organization can do for the 10-county area it represents. Chambers is one of those counties served along with Tallapoosa, Coosa, Clay, Randolph, Cleburne, Cherokee, Talladega, Etowah and Calhoun.

The EARPDC provides such programs as the Area Agency on the Aging, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Brownfield program, CLEAR Plan 2030, Community Development, Economic Development Administration, the Revolving Loan Fund and the Annual Government Training Program.

The EARPDC assists member counties and cities in getting grants such as the $4.3 million grant the city has received to help rebuild its aging natural gas system. Gas Department head Allen Summers told the council that this particular grant was long in coming. The grant will fund a project to replace many cast iron pipes in the city’s gas system. The system is approximately seven miles in length.

“This is a nationwide grant, and only five cities in Alabama were approved,” Summers said. “There is no match required by the city. We will continue to seek more grants in the future. The grant we received will cover some detection equipment we need. It will also allow us to make some needed upgrades in our regulator station.”

A big facsimile check for $4.3 million was proudly displayed in the council chamber. Heard led a standing ovation for the good news in getting this much-needed grant.

Council Member Tifton Dobbs said the city needs to keep moving forward in having 21st century kinds of benefits. He suggested having digital signs in front of city hall and in the lobby posting updates for the citizens. It said it would be a good way of recognizing an employee of the month.

Council Member Tamalita Autry said she had much enjoyed the recent open house at the airport. “I think everyone there was blown away by it,” she said. “There’s no doubt we need a regional airport here. People have been asking me about having hangars there. There are more people in this area who have planes than you might think.”

Council Member Ronnie Tucker said he would like to have a Neighborhood Watch chapter in District 3. “This would help our citizens be the eyes and ears for the police,” he said. “It would help make the community a safer place.”