Members of the Lafayette City Council met in regular session last Tuesday evening, April 1, voting to put a stop to all roadblock fundraisers until a new ordinance is written that addresses safety concerns.

Council members also voted to adopt Ordinance 665 on first reading. The ordinance cuts the number of people at each roadblock from eight to four and eliminates the intersection of Red Boiling Springs Rd. and Hwy 52 By Pass as a usable roadblock fundraiser intersection.

The ordinance was recommended by the police committee and was also approved by MTAS (Municipal Technical Advisory Service).

While City of Lafayette Chief of Police Stacy Gann stated that he has had safety concerns in the past, the recent injury of a person participating in a roadblock fundraiser calls for the City’s immediate action.

“We had an accident occur on March 15 and there’s some safety concerns I brought to the Mayor’s attention,” Chief Gann told the council. “There’s just too many people, and too much traffic. It’s dangerous, and we need to set some different rules and regulations.”

Chief Gann stated that he would like to eliminate roadblocks on Highway 52 all together, due to the heavy traffic.  

“Our main concern is public safety,” said City Mayor Richard Driver. “We had a person get hurt and we don’t want that to happen again. I know I’ve had complaints about these roadblocks for awhile and probably other council members have too.”

The police department will also update its requirements for obtaining a roadblock fundraiser permit.

The list of guidelines and safety precautions which would have to be followed by all roadblock participants is pictured with this article, along with the ‘Hold Harmless Agreement,’ which discharges the City from any liability from damage or injury that may occur during a roadblock.

A special called meeting has been set for Tuesday, April 8, at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the new ordinance.

Several topics were also discussed concerning the Lafayette Winding Stairs Recreation Park.

  1. Mayor Driver and councilmember Pam Cothron announced that a non-profit organization called ‘Friends of Winding Stairs’ will be established for concerned citizens who wish to help support the park.
  2. The City is currently looking for volunteers willing to sign-up to volunteer a few hours of work at the park within the next 12 months. Volunteers will be needed beginning in July. To sign up to be a volunteer contact council member Roger Russell.
  3. Authorization was granted for Mayor Driver to complete the survey for an equal amount of land, have the deed drawn up and signed, and accept the deed from the other party in the Land Swap Agreement for the Winding Stairs property. The City agrees to pay all transaction fees. Voting against the motion to grant authorization was councilmember Tom Roberts.
  4. The council voted to give Mayor Driver authorization to advertise and accept bids for harvesting the trees (for logs) located 500 feet along the west side of the trail going into Lot 14, and allow the Mayor to accept the high bidder on the trees. This area of the trail is currently impassable.
  5. Authorization was granted to the Mayor to have City employees install a permanent culvert south of the gate on Lot 13 in accordance with Mid-Tenn Engineering’s drawings. The materials will be purchased on state bid using industrial funds. Voting against the motion to grant authorization was councilmember Jerry Wilmore. 

In other business:

  • Council members voted to approve the minutes from the March 4, 2014 council meeting.
  • The council voted 5-1 to approve low bidder Erin Roberts for janitorial services at the police department. Chief Gann stated that Mrs. Roberts is the wife of Lafayette police officer Jason Roberts before the vote. The low bid totaled $225 per week (five cleanings a week). A bid for $300 per week was submitted by Kirby Cleaning Co. Voting against the motion to approve the low bid was councilman Jerry Wilmore.
  • Council members voted to approve the City pool manager and lifeguard personnel for the 2014 pool season.
  • The council voted to adopt Resolution 04-01-2014, a resolution authorizing the Mayor to apply for a grant from the local parks and recreations fund and committing the City to the local share of the matching funds.
  • Authorization was granted to apply for an Amendment to the Tennessee Aeronautics Emergency Grant for the necessary repairs to a new sinkhole at the airport. The 95/5 percent grant with require up to $4,925 in local matching funds ($98,500 grant amendment).
  • Authorization was granted to send out a request for qualifications for a City Attorney.
  • Council members approved the appointment of John McIntire and Mike Marshall to serve as Commissioners for the Lafayette Housing Authority. A resident himself, McIntire will represent the residents of the housing authority.
  • A Budget & Finance Committee meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, April 17, at 3:30 p.m.