Aging water system has LaFayette resident up in arm

by Alton Mitchell, originally posted on January 11, 2017


LaFayette’s bi-weekly city council meetings often serve as very informative sessions for what is going on at the local government level of LaFayette. However it also offers a platform for local residents to express concerns to the community’s local officials. On Monday evening one LaFayette residents brought a list of his concerns before the city council and brought light to some issues that have plagued LaFayette residents.

Randy Talley of LaFayette came to the city council meeting with a list of issues he felt were facing the city as a resident. One of the greatest issues was the city of LaFayette’s water system. The issues dealt mainly with the issues of the aging system and leaks within the water system.

In one statement Mr. Talley stated that, “the city park should not be a priority over the safety of local water.” Council member Matthew Hurst seemed to understand where the concerns of Mr. Talley where coming from. Councilman Hurst acknowledged that he is ecstatic about the new park, and that it is time to address the issues associated with local water. Those actions came shortly after Councilman Hurst stated that he had received images from local citizens with photos of the quality of water in the city.

Mr. Talley requested that city officials in LaFayette look into alternatives for improving the aging water system to LaFayette to include the possibility of obtaining new grants. Those grants would be used to improve the water system.
Prior to the meeting closing LaFayette City Clerk Louis T. Davidson gave a status update on some of the actions that city officials have taken to improve local water supply systems. Mr. Davidson advised that the city had completed phase one of a water project in the city that came with a $90,000 grant. That grant money was used to replace some of the water lines around the city.

According to Davidson the city was looking to start phase two of those water improvements as well with a second grant. However word was just received that the second grant had been denied and city officials just received word of that denial within the past month. It had been in a hold period for nearly 8 months before they got word that LaFayette had not been awarded the grant. The city is now exploring other options for making those improvements.

Mayor Moody and council members agreed that they would look at the concerns associated with the water situation in upcoming work sessions. In those sessions the local officials will look for the best remedy to the problem that has been addressed to them.

In additions to his concerns about the water leaks and LaFayette water system Mr. Talley also brought up a safety concern that he and other residents had observed in the city of LaFayette. This was a needed extension of city sidewalks near Highway 77 and U.S. Highway 431 in LaFayette. Mr. Talley expressed his concerns with safety in the area as the area is one that is difficult for pedestrians to travel through including mothers with baby strollers. “I’m pleading on the issue of safety not cosmetics for this sidewalk,” Mr. Talley stated to council. Council members agreed to look at his concerns more deeply during their upcoming work sessions.

Mr. Talley brought up an issue that did relate to the cosmetics of LaFayette in another complaint. The complaint concerned the placement of political signs on local utility poles around LaFayette. Mr. Talley came in with the request to ask LaFaytte officials to look more closely at policies for political signage being placed on local poles. He advised that some surrounding municipalities such as Auburn and Opelika fine individuals for placing these signs on poles.

In a final complaint before council Mr. Talley brought a complaint to the attention of council that council has previously discussed and sought a remedy to. Mr. Talley was concerned with the intersection of 1st Avenue Southeast near the County Courthouse. That intersection was previously a one way street, but when repaving occurred last year it was opened up to two way traffic since that point there have been accidents and near misses at the intersection.

The previous city council was taking a look at concerns with the intersection and possible solutions to traffic concerns and residents making an illegal left turn at the intersection. Council members thanked Mr. Talley for bringing his concerns before them and advised that they would be looking into issues in their work sessions.

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