By Rebekah Martin
The Opelika City Council proclaimed this week to be Juneteenth Celebration Week at Tuesday’s council meeting. The Juneteenth celebration commerates the end of slavery in the U.S., and, according to information on www.juneteenth.com, the campaign aims to increase knowledge and appreciation of the roles, achievements and contributions of African Americans to society, and pay tribute to an ancestral heritage upon whose shoulders many stand. The campaign, centers around assessment, goals, education, dialogue, responsibility, acknowledgement – and celebrates African American progress since 1865. Councilman Larry Gray read the proclamation at the council meeting and Jacquetta Ward was present to receive it. As a close to the Juneteenth celebration, a unity parade will be held tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at Bethesda Baptist Church on South Fourth Street.
The council also declared that August 4 will be Opelika’s National Night Out. National Night Out is a nationally recognized movement aiming to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness. Opelika resident Mattie Clark, who has organized the NNO event in recent years said it is an opportunity to promote and celebrate police-community partnerships in crime prevention efforts.
Finally, the council voted to grant Daewon America Inc. a ten-year abatement of state and local noneducational property taxes and all construction-related sales and use taxes except those levied for educational purposes. The company will invest $3 million dollars in an expansion project that will result in the addition of five new jobs and is projected to be open Jan. 1 of next year. In addition, the city of Opelika granted Daewon an additional 5-year abatement of local non-educational property taxes. These tax abatements are customarily granted for new businesses or significant expansions of existing businesses.