Lanett council seeks grants to continue work on Lanett Airport

Published 8:00 am Thursday, April 18, 2024

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LANETT — The City of Lanett is moving ahead with plans for improvements at Lanett Regional Airport. At its Monday meeting, the council unanimously approved resolutions seeking funding for a terminal area site development plan and a professional services contract to acquire land for a new entrance road to the airport.

A total of $500,000 in federal and state grants is being sought to continue making these improvements. This would cover the cost of grading, draining, basing and paving a taxi lane and parking area, to grade and drain future hanger sites and to provide some markings and grassing.

If approved, ninety percent of the funding would come from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with five percent coming from the state and five percent from the city. The city’s share in this would be $6,250.

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Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood of Montgomery would handle a 45-day construction calendar to complete the project.

The architecture and engineering firm would also provide the professional services needed in the entrance road land acquisition project. If approved, federal and state sources would provide portions of the funding needed to build the new road.

One route being considered is to extend 45th Street SW across Phillips Road directly to the terminal. This is a main road into the Huguley Industrial Park, and a traffic signal is already in place. The council also approved a resolution to take bids for grass-cutting at the airport.

Bids are also being sought for roof repairs at the James A. Hardy Gym on Cherry Drive. Recreation Director Trent McCants told the council that the gym roof had been leaking in places for several years, and it had gotten to the point that leaks were in every room of the gym. McCants suggested recoating the roof.

“It won’t cost as much as a complete tear off would,” McCants said.

Bids for the needed repair work will be sought from licensed vendors. Mayor Jamie Heard has been authorized by the council to sign a contract on behalf of the city to get the work done. In another action at Monday’s meeting, the council accepted the year-end audit for 2023, and an on- or off-premises retail beer and table wine license was approved.

The audit was prepared by Phillip Morgan and Company of the Birmingham area. The audit rendered a favorable opinion of the city’s internal control and financial reporting and held that it was compliant with all relevant laws, regulations, contracts and agreements.

The beer and wine license was approved for Astha Hospitality LLC, which will be doing business as Danny’s Bar and Food and is located in the former Holiday Inn site off Broad Avenue. Councilmember Angelia Thomas expressed reservations about doing this, citing unsavory activity that had taken place there in the past.

“That has changed,” Heard said. “It’s under new ownership, and they are remodeling the building. The police chief [Denise McCain] and fire chief [Johnny Allen] have approved this.”

Thomas said that if they had no problems with it she would go along, too, but did have some concerns about night-time activity in the city.

“I’d like to see the police department beef up patrols during the nighttime hours,” she said. “There are people walking the streets late at night, and I don’t think they are doing it for exercise. Some break-ins and robberies have taken place, and people have had things stolen from their yards. We have elderly people, some of them living alone, in our neighborhoods. We need to be able to assure them that they are safe from harm.”

Council Member Tifton Dobbs said he would like to see some help given to people living in the Crystal Springs area across from Lanett High School. 

“There’s some kind of sewage problem that’s producing a frequent foul smell, and there’s a flooding problem in periods of heavy rain. We need to keep working on this,” he said. “We need to have a workable plan. Sometimes there will be standing water for three or four days.”

Heard and Council Member Tamalita Autry thanked members of the Lanett Restoration Committee for having held a litter clean-up day on Saturday, April 6th. More than 30 people turned out to pick up litter along designated streets in the city.

Autry congratulated high school seniors in the local area for being so close to graduation. She commended them for getting close to an important goal in their lives and encouraged them to enjoy this special time.