New Lanett ordinance targets noise and clutter

Published 10:00 am Thursday, June 22, 2023

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LANETT — The Lanett City Council has approved a revised ordinance addressing loud music and unsightly appearances in the city. A second reading was held and a new ordinance on this was approved at Tuesday’s council meeting. The council delayed the regular Monday meeting to Tuesday due to the Juneteenth holiday.

The revised ordinance deals with loud music, unused household furniture and appliances being left in people’s yards, and unkempt places with high grass and weeds. There’s also new language in the demolition of abandoned dwellings.

The new ordinance makes it unlawful for anyone “to make persistently or continuously excessive noises, loud music or loud sounds likely to annoy the senses of the average person.” Such loud sounds are declared a nuisance and expressly prohibited.

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The revised ordinance prohibits the placement of household appliances and household furniture in a manner to be exposed to the elements. Such items cannot be left outside for a consecutive two-day period in six months’ time,

The new ordinance allows the city to declare high weeds a nuisance that can be abated by the city. It sets the terms for public hearings to discuss the nuisance  and sets the terms to notify the property owner.

There’s also a procedure for placing liens on properties to recover the city’s cost in having them cleaned up,

In other action, the council approved a resolution naming Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood the most qualified company to provide engineering services to the city. This applies to any Community Development Block Grants (CDBGs) received over the next three years.

A resolution was approved to seek bids to rehab a lift station on Phillips Road. There are 12 such stations in the city, and the one on Phillips Road is considered the one most in need of being upgraded.

The city’s new grant writer, Sara Byard,  was at the meeting to get an understanding of the council’s priorities in the way of seeking grants this year. She said that $23 million is available for Alabama communities this year. Each city is eligible to receive up to $500,000 in this grant cycle. Competition for this federal money can be intense. A city must put up a 10 percent match, and each request is judged on the need and how many people it will benefit. Many grant requests are for water and sewer improvements, Byard said.

Some grants will allow for housing rehabilitation in the city. These grants have helped repair roofs and carports that are in bad shape in a given neighborhood.

Byard asked council members if they knew of areas in town that could be helped by grants. Council Member Tifton Dobbs said that flooding had been a problem for some time in the Crystal Springs housing area. There are lots of streets that could use some improvements as well.

“We have needs for pretty much everything you said,” said Council Member Angelia Thomas. “We could use help with streets, water lines and sewer lines. We definitely could use $500,000 in grant money.”

“We need to prioritize something such as water and sewer service,” Byard said.

Thomas said the city recently received a major grant to upgrade its natural gas system. Such programs, she said, can only help improve the quality of life for Lanett residents.

“We will do the best we can for you,” Byard said. “If you have parts of town where there is water loss, grants can provide money to pay an engineering firm to find out why that’s taking place.”

CDBG grants are designed to help areas that are of low to moderate income. “We need to seek grants that will benefit the most people we can,” Byard said.