(Submitted by Lafayette Mayor Jerry Wilmore)
The beginning of the year 2023 began much like 2022 ended, wide open. The housing market in Lafayette is still strong with several new subdivisions popping up inside the city limits. The city is expected to let the bids on the new water treatment expansion which will double our capacity from a 2 million gallon per day to a four million gallon per day plant. The old Donoho property on Sneed Blvd. that the city and county partnered together and purchased was named a TN. SELECT SITE late last year. Since this time there have been five manufacturing companies interested in it and toured the site. The State of Tennessee, TVA, Tennessee Central and Tri-County along with numerous other entities worked hard to get this site certified and hopefully it will pay off in the near future. The 911 center that was built in 2002 will finally be brought on line with all the dispatching inside the city limits. This I feel is way overdue and will help the citizens of the city that have emergencies inside the city get a faster response time. The way it has worked in the past is if a city resident has an emergency they can call 911 as always but instead of the 911 center having to call the city dispatch for them to dispatch the fire or police department the 911 operator will do that and cut out the middle person, that will create a much faster response to any emergency inside the city of Lafayette. This will take place on July 1st. The city has applied for another round of grants to rehab sewer manholes and should start taking place this summer, Haley street, Courthouse View and Wooten Avenue. The second grant will consist of replacing older manholes around several areas of the city that the sewer pipes have pulled loose from the actual manhole. The city has applied for several grants for building a walking track at and around the pond at Winding Stairs and installing LED lights to help light that portion of the park, to install volleyball courts and possible even more tennis courts in the area. The council has talked about, but have yet to act, on either installing another RV park on the back of pond trac and even kicked around building small cabins on the back side for out of town people to rent, this is only if the city can get a grant. These grants are very competitive and every town applies for one. As of May 1st the city offices will be changing the office hours from 8 to 4:30 and the new hours will be from 7:30 to 4:00, the city has numerous ways for customers to pay their bill such as pay by phone with credit/debit card, automatic draft, night deposit, or pay on line with the toll free number with card, 844-836-3986, the ladies will still be able to assist anyone between the new hours. If an emergency occurs after hours then beginning July 1st customers will need to call 911 and report any emergency and the person on call will be contacted by them. The sidewalk grant that was started about 4 years ago and is in its final stages of design and should begin work on it this summer, this will begin at Nature Trail Lane and run east to the Highway 10 and 52 intersection at Citizens bank and extend up College Street and up Ellington drive for a short distance. The county mayor and myself met with TDOT last of February about realigning Church Street with Nature Trail Lane so traffic can turn left coming off of Church Street when entering Hwy 52. Hopefully they will take our advice and consider redoing this intersection to make it easier for travelers to cut down Church Street coming from the west. I assume in the future there could possibly be a red light installed at this intersection. I have been in contact with TDOT about installing another stop light at the intersection of Sneed Blvd. and Hwy. 52 because it’s virtually impossible when approaching from Franklin Avenue to turn left onto the bypass so this would help that problem. We are still waiting on word from the state about adding a turning lane on Hwy 52 east between Days Road to the existing turning lane at Anderson Funeral Home, that end of the city has experienced much growth and a turning lane will help with safety issues for those trying to turn into the new businesses located in that area.