OPELIKA — During Tuesday night’s Opelika City Council meeting, the council members and Mayor Gary Fuller recognized seventh grader, Olivia Battle from Opelika Middle School. Battles is a trampoline and tumbling athlete who represented the city of Opelika at the USA Gymnastics National Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last month. She placed in the top 50% of 100-plus females in Trampoline and Double Mini. This was her first nationals with the top athletes in the sport.
Battles was chosen to represent Alabama at the Regional All Stars Competition in Mobile, Alabama. Four tumblers from each state were chosen to compete head-to-head. She received the top award for Athletes Level 10 and under for Alabama and she hit the qualifying scores for USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic Nationals on every event (tumbling, trampoline and double mini trampoline).


  • The council approved a bid for just over $229,000 from SDAC for the North 8th Street and 1st Ave. sidewalk upgrades.
  • The council approved a bid for just under $609,000 from Hudmon Construction Co. for the Blackhawk Drive culvert replacement.
  • The council approved expense reports from various departments.
  • The council approved the purchase of Toter 96 gallon EVR II Carts utilizing the Sourcewell Contract No. 041521- TOT for an amount of $37,605.
  • The council approved a Pole Attachment License Agreement with CTV-Beam.
  • The council approved a settlement agreement with Electric Cities of Georgia that resulted from a dispute between the parties related to the terms of training and safety services under the Services Agreement. The contract will be terminated Dec. 31, 2024.
  • The council approved a resolution to amend Resolution 081-23 in order to repeal the cemetery monument sitting fee that was initially approved in April 2023.
  • The council approved a special appropriation of $10,000 to AO Tourism for hosting the AJGA Golf Tournament at the Robert Trent Jones Grand National Golf Course in Opelika in July 1 through 4. The event was expected to bring 70 to 100 junior golfers from 16 states and five countries to the area and have an economic impact of approximately $400,000.
  • The council approved a special appropriation of $2,500 to Greater Peace Community Development Corporation for its summer education enrichment program.
  • The council approved a special appropriation of $500 to Opelika Parks & Rec for the Opelika Diamond Youth Baseball 10U All-Star Team to aid in its participation of the state tournament to be held in Dothan, Alabama in July.
    During the citizens communication period, City Clerk Russell Jones read a letter from The Rev. Clifford Jones, pastor of Greater Peace Baptist Church, in reference to the ordinance to end police escorts for funeral services.
    “We see this service as being a public safety issue,” Jones stated in the letter. “I personally have known of two accidents occurring in funeral processions where there were no police escorts, and loss of life occurred in one of them. …Every family is important in Opelika and should receive the same courtesy as any other family- dignitary or not. Therefore, I, along with the Minister Alliance and numerous churches in Opelika, request that the police escorts continue to be provided.”
    Ward Two Council Member Erica Norris said that she was torn about the topic.
    “I still am torn personally, because to receive a letter from the pastor of Greater Peace, as well as the president of the [Lee County] Ministers Alliance, Pastor Jones, on his concerns and him speaking on behalf of other ministers in the area, I am just torn because of their concerns,” she said. “But I certainly understand as well, the concerns of our police department and the constraints it places on them as well trying to provide this service.”
    Norris added that she hoped that the council will to continue to work towards a middle ground solution that would allow the service to resume but would also provide more support to the police department.
  • The ordinance to repeal Section 22-5 of the City Code of Ordinances: Ending Funeral Escort Services was removed from the table, was amended to reflect a change in the date that the repeal would go into effect and was approved with a vote of three yeas, one nay and one abstention.
  • The council introduced an ordinance to amend the City Code of Ordinances: Section 2-147 – Procurement and Awarding of Contracts for its first reading.
    During the second citizens communications Opelika citizen Geoff Slater who lives near Botanic, voiced his concerns about the noise from the recent
    “Battle of the Bands” held at the venue. Slater played a recording of the music which he stated could be heard from within his home which is located a little more than 500 feet from Botanic’s property.