Council may rename Niles Street

Published 7:34 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sometimes a name can mean everything, which is why an effort is being made to come up with a better name for streets near the LaGrange Housing Authority.

The City of LaGrange considered a request Tuesday from the LaGrange Housing Authority to rename the portion of Niles Street that runs through the housing authority to bear the name of Vince Sutton, a former LaGrange resident that played quarterback at the University of Alabama. Officials hope the name change will help wash away some negative stigma that has been attached to the area over the years.

“Many of you at the city know that we are trying to re-brand the housing authority to remove stigmas and any negativity associated with us, so we thought it fitting at this time to take one of our streets/ Weplan to rename all of them, but we are planning to start construction there,” Housing Authority Executive Director Zsa Zsa Heard said. “So, we thought about Vince Sutton who was one of our quarterbacks who went to LaGrange High School.”

Sutton has faced health problems including kidney disease in recent years. Sutton is known within the community for both his football career and the example that he has set for local youth.

“I think the name is very befitting because Vince (Sutton) has been very active in the community with children,” Councilman Willie Edmondson said. “He worked with several camps and things of that nature, so he is very deserving.”

Most of the city council know Sutton from his years in LaGrange and had a positive reaction to the request.

“I am proud of Vince (Sutton),” Councilwoman Norma Tucker said. “Seeing Vince as a kid, when we lived on Niles Street right next door to Vince and his family, and with Vince being a family member and a long (time) personal friend to our neighborhood and our community — I am proud of him. I am proud to recognize and celebrate his efforts on behalf of the community.”

Councilman Mark Mitchell had a similar reaction to the request.

“I personally know Vince (Sutton), and I worked with him at the Troup County Sheriff’s office for years, and he has a lot of respect from all of the community,” he said.

The request would only cover the portion of Niles Street that runs through the housing authority. The LaGrange City Council plans to hold a public hearing on the renaming of Niles Street to Vince Sutton Blvd. at its next meeting on July 25.