Opelika City Council adopts character creed, presents award, waives fees for a year for Auburn-Opelika branch of Habitat for Humanity

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By Shawn Kirkpatrick
Opelika Observer

First on the agenda at city council Tuesday, was the adoption of the Opelika Character Creed.
“Ten years ago the city council, chamber and school board adopted Opelika as a City of Character. There was a resolution written at that time, so we worked from that resolution,” said Tom Tippet, chairman of the Envision Opelika Character Council. “The Opelika Character Council came up with a statement of belief, that’s this character creed.”
Mayor Gary Fuller gave an “Atta Boy Award” to Case O’Dell, an engineering technician for the city.
“He joined the engineering department in 2017. His degree is in environmental science, and his experience in erosion and sedimentation became essential to the storm water management in the city,” said Mayor Fuller. “Having someone like this on staff will provide tremendous credibility and positive advancement in managing erosion control and providing clean water and environment to the citizens of Opelika.”
Mayor Fuller also honored Duke TIP Scholars Susannah Couey and Justin McKemie, both from Opelika Middle School. (The Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) is a nonprofit organization that serves academically talented students in 4-12th grades.)
The council voted to waive a year’s worth of building and construction fees within city limits for the Auburn-Opelika Habitat for Humanity group.
The council also approved the upgrade of the Westside Waste Water Treatment Plant. A contract between the city and Constantine Engineering allows for design and construction services at a cost of $482,000.
“The Westside plant was built more than 30 years ago,” said Public Works Director Mike Hilyer. “Since then, no upgrades have been made.”
Also on the agenda, the council:
-approved zoning for Grand National’s planned unit development master plan, for National Village community.
-approved 160.69 acres within the Foxchase subdivision on Emerald Lake as a low-density residential district.
-approved W. S. Newell and Sons, Inc. to remove any rocks encountered during construction of the Sportsplex connector road project.
-approved Greg Leikvold to
develop a workforce development program for the city and schools for $30,000. The city and Opelika City Schools will split the cost at $15,000 each.
-approved negotiations for the purchase of property at 306 East Ave. for $14,000 for the city’s new police department.
-approved $500 from each council members’ discretionary accounts to help pay for Leadership Lee County’s annual graduation ceremony.
-approved a request to temporarily close 7th St. between Avenue A and Avenue B for the city’s Memorial Day Ceremony.
-approved a request from First Baptist Church of Opelika to close Avenue B between 8th and 9th St. during certain times for Vacation Bible School, June 11-14.
-approved a request for a special events alcohol license for Storybook Farm.
-approved a request from Mini Mart Food Store for a retail beer and wine off-premise license.

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