By Rebekah Martin
A new industry will soon be making its home in Opelika. Ironstrike, LLC, which specializes in the manufacturing of custom tool boxes for trucks will invest more than $4 million into its new location on Preston Street. According to the resolution the city council passed at Tuesday’s meeting, the city will grant a tax abatement to Ironstrike for “all state and local non-education ad valorem taxes (property taxes) for a period of ten (10) years; and (b) all construction related transaction taxes (sales and use taxes), except those construction related transaction taxes levied for educational purposes or for capital improvements for education.”
The project is slated to be completed by Dec. 31, 2016 and will create approximately 40 new jobs in Opelika.
“Anytime we have a new business come to town, we get excited about that. But more important than that is that it will create 40 new jobs,” said city council president Eddie Smith. “In today’s world, that’s what we’re trying to do – get people employed so that they can improve their position in life and go on to become tax paying citizens. The excitement of the deal is that it’s another new business that will create new jobs for our citizens.”
The council also discussed the start of the long-awaited Carver-Jeter master-plan kick off. “This Saturday is a very special day in the life of our community, and something that I’m proud of and I know every member of the city council is proud of. [Saturday’s events] will be the beginning of some visible evidence of our Carver-Jeter plan,” said Mayor Gary Fuller. “Beginning Friday morning, we’re going to close four intersections, so that Mike Hilyer and his crew from Public Works can pressure wash and clean the pavement for the event on Saturday morning.” The four intersections that will close Friday and reopen Sunday are Auburn Street at Kilgore and Orchard Avenues, South Railroad Avenue at South Fourth Street and and Avenue E and South Fourth Street. “It’s a big event and I hope everyone will participate. I think it’s going to be a lot of people – it’s going to include a lot of young people and a lot of folks from these Carver and Jeter neighborhoods.” Councilman David Canon asked the mayor if he would be painting some of the designs himself and the mayor said he would leave that job up to the artists. “I can’t even do a paint by numbers, so I know they’re not going to turn me loose in an intersection,” Fuller said jokingly.
In other news the council:
-awarded a special appropriation to the Opelika Chamber of Commerce and its Lee County Young Leaders program in the amount of $5,000. One thousand dollars will come from each member’s discretionary funds.
-awarded a bid to Donohoo Chevrolet of Ft. Payne for nine 2015 SUVs comparable to Chevrolet Tahoes for the Opelika Police Department.