By Rebekah Martin
Associate Editor

The Opelika City Council passed a resolution at last week’s regular meeting that approves entering into an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation as a part of a federal grant to construct pedestrian sidewalks along Geneva Street.
According to the resolution, the agreement has an approved budget of $488,661, with the federal share of the total cost being 80 percent or $390,928.80, and the city being responsible for $97,732.20.
City engineer Scott Parker said the planning and design work for the project should be completed by the end of the year and there are no restrictions on beginning construction immediately.
Councilwoman Patsy Jones said these improvements have been needed for years, and will improve the safety issues pedestrians face in the area.
“These are concerns that have been among the city council for many years and we’re now getting to the point that different grants are becoming available to aid us as a city, because it’s very costly,” Jones said. “We have children who walk to school at Carver, then we have them coming to Covington Recreation Center and they have to actually walk in the street, so this grant helps to protect (them.)”
Mayor Gary Fuller also read a resolution officially backing the bicentennial celebration efforts of the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and the Alabama 200 Lee County Committee. As the county seat, the city of Opelika will kick off Lee County’s celebration of the event July 20 on the steps of the courthouse.
In other business, the council also:
-approved a request from Opelika Main Street for street closures for events on various dates.
-approved a request from Greater Peace Baptist Church for a walk on Sept. 30.
-approved a special appropriation to the Dixie Boys All-Star Team.