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Council awards contract for streetscape project

LANETT — On Monday, the Lanett City Council awarded a contact to low bidder JLD Enterprises LLC of Opelika for the next phase of the downtown streetscape project.

JLD has agreed to do the work for $405,680.50. The project will receive federal Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding with the city having a share.

The next phase of the work will complete the North Lanier Avenue portion of the project and will start the First Street portion. The improvements along North Lanier will start at the Tanyard Creek bridge and run north to the intersection with Cherry Drive. It will continue the ongoing look with wide sidewalks, planter areas with flowers, shrubs and trees and decorative lighting. Something new will be the removal of wooden utility poles in favor of metal ones to match the decorative lights.

This same look will extend to First Street with the first sections being between Gwen’s Tax Service and North 6th Avenue on the west side and the area between South 3rd and South 4th streets near the First Christian Church on the east side. The plan is to complete this look from Highway 29 to South 8th Avenue near W.O. Lance Elementary School.

In other business on Monday, the council applied for a $24,000 grant through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to purchase equipment such as body cameras, tasers and computers for the Lanett Police Department. The city renewed its commitment to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which allows low-income individuals to better manage their utility payments. The program is available locally through the Bowen East District Center. LaFayette Council Member Tammie Williams heads up the program for Chambers County.

Seven city residents were appointed to three-year terms on the Lanett Board of Adjustments. They include Tim Jennings, Joyce Newton, Kay Pippen, Gary Vaughn, Patricia Woody and Greg Zachery.

The board of adjustments hears and decides appeals where it is alleged that there has been an error in order, requirement, decision or determination made by a city enforcement officer.

Council Member Tony Malone asked Mayor Kyle McCoy if the city park across from W.O. Lance was going to be reopened this year.

The mayor said he would wait for Governor Kay Ivey’s next order for reopenings. He felt that the greenspace portion could be safely reopened but that the playground equipment area would have to remain closed.

“In my opinion, we should be able to open up the green space for people to walk or exercise,” McCoy said. “I think we’d have to block off the playground equipment. It doesn’t have enough room for social distancing. We would still have to have limitations on crowd size.”

McCoy said there’s still a couple of weeks to consider what to do before the governor makes her next order.

Council Member Angelia Thomas said she would soon announce the winners of a contest for keeping neat-looking yards.

“We will be putting up signs at four yards,” she said. “The people living there have done great work in keeping their yard looking nice.”

McCoy said that a rough draft would soon be available on a budget for fiscal year 2020-21. He said that he would be e-mailing it to the council members.

“The numbers look pretty good right now,” he said. “Our revenues are up. I think we will have a good budget. Our auditor, Phillip Morgan, would have an audit by the first of January.”

Council Member Thomas asked to have a work session prior to the budget being put to a vote. McCoy said he would probably do that.

Thomas said that she would like to see a street sweeper put in the budget.