City council tables demolition of home on South 3rd Street

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by Cliff McCollum
News Editor

Members of the Opelika City Council put a proposed property demolition on hold Tuesday evening, as representatives of the property owner said ongoing negotiations could lead to future repairs of the property.

Attorney Kenneth Shinbaum, who represents homeowner Melvin Brooks, said steps have been taken to help keep the public safe from the building’s deteriorating condition.

A six-foot high fence has been erected on the perimeter of the 500 South 3rd Street residence. A tarp has also been placed on damaged portions of the roof. The property was damaged after a fire in July 2012.

Shinbaum said the house received a fair amount of water damage due to water being pumped in to fight the fire and he hoped negotiations with the insurance company would result in funds to fix the property.

“If we cannot reach a resolution, there may be the subject of a lawsuit on this,” Shinbaum said.

The council did take action on a series of appointments to the city’s Board of Zoning Adjustments that had been tabled in previous sessions due to a discussion of possible board appointee term limits.

George Dyar and Anne Grady were reappointed to terms that will expire in 2016. Tippi Colley Miller was appointed to a full board member position that expires in 2016, and Ashley Smith Durham was appointed to a supernumerary slot that will expire in 2015.

The council also:

– Approved expense reports from fire chief Terry Adkins and Lou Malloy of the city’s IT department.

– Granted a request to hang a banner across 2nd Avenue for the 2013 Garden in the Park Event.

– Agreed to requests for the Two by Two Unity Run on April 6 and the 2013 March for Babies on May 4.

– Approved a request to hold a new road bicycle race in downtown Opelika on April 13.

– Renewed the levy of tax on property within the city’s corporate limits. The rates will remain the same as last year’s.

– Awarded a contract to Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc., for engineering services on the North Railroad Avenue streetscape improvements.

– Passed two agreements with Toly Digital Networks and Neustar,Inc., for Opelika Power Services’ fiber network and smart grid upgrades.

– Gave a contract to Motorola for a two-way radio system and other necessary equipment.

– Awarded bids for new furniture for the Opelika Power Services new facility, a maintenance contract for the UPS system, a 2013 pickup truck for OPS and a contract for downtown dumpster services.

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