During Tuesday night’s Opelika City Council meeting, the council approved a special appropriation to the Arts Association of East Alabama (AAEA) in the amount of $14,000 to be used exclusively to defray expenses of using the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts (OPAC) on Aug. 28, 2023, for additional productions of  “We’ll Meet Again.”

The production centers around the life of Henry Stern whose family settled in Opelika during World War II after escaping Germany’s persecution of those of Jewish heritage.

The play was first performed in Opelika in August 2022. It will begin the regional tour with a school performance at OPAC, the evening show for the community on Aug. 28 and performances in Auburn at the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center at Auburn University on Aug. 30 and Aug. 31.

“We’ll Meet Again” is a musical written by the team of Alabama playwright James R. Harris and award-winning composer and arranger Mark Hayes.

“Our hope in creating this show is to capture the essence of what America has meant to the world in our best moments — love of family, love of country, welcoming others into our culture, and striving and succeeding together as a community,” Harris said in a press release.

The 2023 southern tour of “We’ll Meet Again” is made possible by support from Auburn University men’s basketball head coach Bruce Pearl and his wife, Brandy, who experienced the premiere at the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts last year.

“That night, we were treated to something we really weren’t expecting,” said Pearl in a press release issued by the Gogue. “We laughed and we cried. We enjoyed the music and the dancing. We were filled with great pride and happiness about the greatest country in the world that we love so dearly.”

After growing up in Opelika, Stern went on to become a well-known and respected businessman.


• The council approved a bid from Hudmon Construction Co. Inc. in the amount of just over $102,000 for the removal of dead, dying or dangerous trees and stumps.

• The council approved a bid from Utility Packaging and Construction Inc. for steel and materials for Substation 10 in an amount of just over  $202,000.

• The council approved expense reports from various departments.

• The council approved the purchase of three diesel exhaust systems and the installation from Williams Fire Apparatus for an amount not to exceed $36,657.

• The council approved the purchase of fire hoses and nozzles from NAFECO for a total amount of $47,525.

• The council approved the purchase of two-way radios and related equipment for the fire department from Motorola Solutions for an amount of nearly $67,000.

• The council approved the purchase of services from Cisco for a Webex calling plan. The annual charge for the service is $92,847, plus other related per usage charges.

• The council approved a resolution to amend the CDBG PY2021 Action Plan.

• The council approved a resolution to approve the CDBG PY2023 Budget & Annual Action Plan.

• The council approved a resolution to amend the Organization Chart of the Engineering Department in order to reclassify the Stormwater Management Coordinator non-exempt position from  pay grade 18 to pay grade 22.

• The council approved a two-year lease agreement in the amount of $1,200 a month with Petrina Properties LLC for the property located at 105-E N. 10th St. in Opelika.

• The council approved a professional services agreement with Barrett Simpson for the Phase One Drainage Study of North Railroad and First Avenue.

• The council authorized the waiver of all building and construction permit fees for Habitat for Humanity.

• The council approved a grant application through ALDOT for an amount not to exceed $250,000 for the installation of traffic controls signals at the intersection of Gateway Drive and Marvyn Parkway (AL Hwy 51.)

• The council held a public hearing and then later voted to approve a weed abatement assessment for the property located at 311 S. 3rd St.