City council considers Sutton Way sewer project

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By Rebekah Martin
Associate Editor

The Opelika City Council tabled a resolution at last week’s regular meeting that would have approved adding 14 homes on Sutton Way to the city sewer system.
The houses have stand-alone septic tanks, many of which have caused major issues and financial burdens for the homeowners.
A public hearing was held at the last council meeting Sept. 5 and the hearing will remain open until the next meeting Oct. 3.
If the city elects to assess the properties with the cost of the project, the homeowners will have two options: to pay the entire cost up front, which will be around $10,000 per home according to city attorney Guy Gunter, or they can choose to pay in 10 annual installments with a lien levied against their properties. The council has no authority to vary the procedure according to Gunter as it is set in place by state law.
City council president Eddie Smith said the council has never approved an assessment in which the majority of the citizens voted no. “The number one thing we want to do is be fair … It’s going to be a majority rules,” Smith said. “You all need to find that neighborhood friendliness that you had before and have a friendly conversation about how you want it to be done, because at the end of the day, you’re going to tell us.”
During the meeting, Mayor Gary Fuller recognized Ava Dawson, Zach Carter and Henry Laech. The three started a lemonade stand and raised more than $1,400 for Hurricane Harvey victims. Fuller also recognized Keep Opelika Beautiful’s Yard of the Year awards recipients. The following Opelika residents were recognized: Rufus Lewis – Ward 1; Micheal Todd – Ward 2; George Kemp – Ward 3; Jerry Williamson- Ward 4; Ken Burton – Ward 5.
In other business, the council also:
-approved a request by Opelika Main Street for a street closure Oct. 4 for the Clydesdales on the Track event.
-appointed Brent Poteet to the Property Maintenance Board of Appeals with a term ending March 2020.

Editor’s note: In last week’s article on the Opelika City Council meeting, we incorrectly reported a public hearing regarding the proposed sewer project on Sutton Way would be open at the Oct. 3 regular meeting. The public hearing was closed at a previous meeting. We regret the error.

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