Clanton Housing Authority dedicates new pavilion to longtime commissioner Bailey

Published 3:36 pm Friday, June 21, 2024

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

The Clanton Housing Authority hosted a dedication ceremony for a new pavilion on Thompson Avenue on June 20 in honor of one of the program’s longest tenured employees. Laura Bailey, the longtime housing authority resident commissioner, received the honor for her unwavering support and dedication to the program.

“We have a housing authority that is performing excellent down here, and them taking care of the residents and recognizing them (is special),” Kenneth E. Free, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Alabama Field Office Director, said. “Recognizing the commitment from (Bailey), and naming something after her that the whole community can come and enjoy. To me, I am glad to be a part of it and with what Clanton is doing, it is amazing stuff.”

Free was joined at the dedication ceremony by members of the Clanton Housing Authority Board, Clanton Mayor Jeff Mims and neighborhood residents. The pavilion, which replaced the old one that was torn down in recent years, is located in a more central location among the housing authority’s 178 units. The project was made possible through capital funds that were provided to the Clanton Housing Authority by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Clanton Housing Authority Executive Director Ron Jones promised residents that a new pavilion would be built after the old one was taken down, and Jones was able to keep his promise on June 20 opening the new one.

“This pavilion is in a better, more central location too,” Jones said. “I promised them we would rebuild one, and we made good on our promise. We are doing it for the residents, and I am sure they will enjoy it and take care of it.”

Jones runs the housing authority for the federal government, and they receive a grant each year that goes towards improvements in the neighborhoods or adding new things like the pavilion. Jones said he noticed residents outside sitting on each other’s porches when the weather is nice, but the pavilion will give them a chance to meet at a central location to enjoy fellowship with one another.

It is required for each housing authority to have a resident commissioner, and Bailey has served in that position for Clanton’s for 20 years. When it came time to put a name on the pavilion, Jones knew just the person it should be named after.

“Doing things like this is fabulous, and I love doing this for the residents,” Jones said. “Every day we try to improve things here a little bit more, and I want the place to be like Mayberry.”

The pavilion is Americans with Disabilities Act compliant for the neighborhood where a majority of its residents are elderly or disabled. The pavilion features rocking chairs for residents and flower pots to spruce up the area. Refreshments and coffee for visitors at the dedication event were provided, and residents got their first chance to try out the new pavilion following the ceremony.