By Morgan Bryce
The Opelika City Council named Eric Canada as the newest member of the Utilities Board during its meeting last Tuesday.
Nominated by Ward 5 Councilman David Canon, Canada was approved by a 3-2 vote.
Following the death of longtime board member and chairman Warner Williams in March, the board has seen several changes. Jeff Hilyer of Hilyer and Associates is now the board’s chairman, and Ward 1 Councilwoman Patsy Jones is vice-chairwoman.
Hilyer updated the council on the latest happenings at Opelika Utilities, including recent water usage and demand statistics, as well as the impact those numbers have on the city’s two water sources, Saugahatchee and Harding lakes.
“The eight (million gallons) at Saugahatchee and 16 (million gallons) at Bett’s (Lake Harding water treatment facility) gives us a 24-million-gallon capacity a day from our filtration plants. Our average daily consumption is nearly seven-million gallons a day, so you can see that we have a lot of capacity available for sale,” Hilyer said. “We’re under contract with (Auburn) to provide 3.6 million gallons a day, and they are currently pulling in 2 million a day. Beulah buys about 600,000-750,000 gallons per day, Loachapoka about 100,000-150,000 per day, and we’ve got taps with Beauregard and Smiths Station, so we’re connected to all of the local water systems.”
The council also voted to approve and award a bid for the Frederick Road extension project to Robinson Paving Co. of Columbus, Ga. for $2,608,293.34, with a contract of 180 days. In an earlier interview, Opelika City Engineer Scott Parker said the project will increase the connectivity of Tiger Town with the downtown area.
In other business, the council also:
– approved a bid for the purchase of rubber mulch by the Opelika Parks and Recreation Department
– approved a bid for the purchase of new uniforms for the Opelika Fire Department
– approved a bid for the purchase of new power poles for Opelika Power Services
– approved expense reports from various city departments
– approved a refund request of $1,921.10 from McCoy Grading, Inc.
– approved a purchase order of security equipment for the city’s informational technology department
– approved weed abatement assessments at 12 E Johnson Ave., 232 N. 30th St. and 407 Hunter St.
– granted AT&T a special use permit for land located at 1315 Madison Ave.
– approved a grant application for the purchase of bulletproof vests for the Opelika Police Department
– approved a three-year contract renewal for Economic Development Director Lori Huguley
– approved a pay-and- class plan for city employees by Condrey and Associates of Statham, Ga.
– approved a special appropriation of $50,000 to Opelika City Schools to help cover the cost of 12 tubas for the high school marching band
– approved an amendment to the text-zoning ordinance, section 7.3
– and approved a rezoning of land at 2500 Cunningham Drive from R-4 to C-2, under the outlines of the Gateway Corridor.