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LaFayette council to change utility cutoff day

After holding an online meeting for its final meeting of April, the LaFayette City Council met in person at the Alfa Insurance building located off highway 50 on Monday. 

The change in venue allowed the council and those in attendance to spread out throughout the room and adhere to social distancing guidelines. The council unanimously approved a motion to continue their meetings at the location until the end of their term as long as there wasn’t a conflict. 

“Meetings will be here to practice our social distancing and set examples that we need to be setting,” LaFayette Mayor Barry Moody said. 

The council approved a motion to create an ordinance to set a date and the fee amount for utility shutoffs. As of now, the current deadline for utility payments is the 15th of every month. The first fee is $2 for both power and water for the first week late. The next fee is $10. Two days after the final fee, utilities are shut off.

The new ordinance would keep the deadline on the 15th, but there would only be one late fee before disconnect. The cost of the fee would be determined by the council once the ordinance is written. Cutoff would be on the 22nd of the month or the first business day if the 22nd falls on a weekend.

The change makes the process easier for scheduling and online payments. 

“We really would like to move into just one late fee because then it becomes difficult to have multiple late fees with our online payments,” City Clerk Louis Davidson said.

Also announced was that the city will soon announce which roads need to be repaved.  

The funds to repave roads come from the Rebuild Alabama fund, gas tax one and gas tax two. The three funds have a total of $164,947.60. 

Superintendent George Green has identified six streets that need to be resurfaced. 

The streets are First Ave NW, Court Way NW, First Street NE, First Street SW, Court Way Drive SE and Second Street SE. Other roads can be added to the list. 

The council approved the motion to get the total cost of all the roads, so they can all be redone at once. 

The council also discussed the purchase of a skid steer, which is currently being rented by the city to tear down old houses.

According to Green, the machine has been used by other departments of the government as well, so instead of just renting, Green inquired about purchasing the machine.

The city has been renting the machine since January. The rain in February made the city increase the rental agreement.

In total, the cost of the rental has been around $7,000. Since it has already put money into the machine, Green said the company would sell it to the city at around $18,000 or $20,000.

“It’s a good piece of equipment and it’s something that all departments can use,” Green said.

“It would favor us if we had something like that because I think that we will continue to tear down houses. It is kind of impossible to tear down a house without this piece of equipment.”

In order to have the trash picked up, citizens need to have all garbage inside a bag and not just tossed into the can, according to Green. Trash will not be picked up if all items are not inside a bag. 

According to Moody, LaFayette City Hall is open to the public by appointment. Citizens wishing to enter the building can call the number that is on the front door and someone inside will let them in as long as there is not someone already inside the office they are trying to enter.

Citizens are encouraged to use the drop box and online payment system.