BY MICHELLE KEY
Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller and the city council issued a proclamation of appreciation during Tuesday night’s city council meeting, honoring Lucy Kirk, the city’s first Black female officer for the Opelika Police Department. Kirk joined the force in 1975 as a parking control officer in downtown Opelika. She became a full-fledged traffic officer in 1979 upon her graduation from Southwest Alabama Training Academy in Bay Minette, Alabama.
According to the proclamation read by Fuller, Kirk attended multiple schools through her years at the OPD where she received training in a variety of areas including pursuit driving, Doppler radar operation, hazardous material handling, emergency medical technician skills, interviews, interrogations and more. She also completed training at the Institute of Police Technology and Management at University of North Florida in September 1987 and was promoted to Corporal in 1988 and Sergeant 1989.
Kirk was the first female to be awarded the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Ladies Auxiliary S404 certificate of appreciation and was one of the first hostage negotiators in the area. She retired from the OPD in 1994 after serving the citizens of Opelika for 19 years.
The council and Fuller also recognized the Teachers of the Year from the Opelika City School system.
RENTAL REGISTRATION ORDINANCE
– The council introduced for first reading an ordinance to amend Sections 12-46, 12-51 and 12-53 of the Code of Ordinances, Residential Rental Registration and Inspection Program.
The change for Section 12-46 would be to remove the requirement:
Signed statement of owner and owner’s agent indicating that he/she is aware of the City’s Property Maintenance Code and the legal ramifications for knowingly violating said Code.
The second change pertain to the rights of the landlord or owner of the property to challenge an inspection before it occurs.
The third change pertains to complaint-based inspections. These changes were suggested to potentially remove legal challenges that have been filed against the city since the ordinance was passed in September of 2021.
There was a motion to suspend the rules and vote on the changes but the motion failed to pass unanimously.This ordinance will be up for vote during the next council meeting on March 1.
– The council approved a request for a restaurant retail liquor, on-premises beer and off-premises wine alcohol license for Botanic LLC dba Botanic.
– The council approved a request for Lowery Enterprise LLC dba Next Level Cafe, restaurant retail liquor, on-premises beer alcohol license.
– The council approved a request from Opelika Main Street for the 1st Ave Block Party on March 19.
– The council approved a request from Opelika Main Street for the On Tap Craft Beer Event on April 30.
– The council approved a request from Opelika Main Street for Touch-A-Truck and Burger Wars on June 4.
– The council held a public hearing for the pre-zoning and annexation of 12.6 acres located on Sellers Drive.
– The council approved the 5th Avenue and 7th Street Drainage Replacement Project for the Engineering Department.
– The council approved a bid from River Region Sports Fields, LLC for softball fields turf construction at West Ridge for an amount of $704,360.60.
– The council approved expense reports from various departments.
– The council approved the purchase of scoreboards for the Parks and Recreation Department for the amount of $49,977.
– The council approved the Purchase of Furniture for the Information Technology Department for the amount of $69,988.67.
– The council approved certain tax abatements and exemptions for PFI, LTD and ORR DC, LLC.
– The council voted to authorize the payment to lower existing sanitary sewer force main along North Park Drive.
– The council approved a grant application to ADEM for the Alabama Recycling Fund Grant Program.
– The council voted to amend the Zoning Ordinance and Map to rezone 17.9 Acres located at Arlee Avenue and Crawford Road. This amendment will change the zoning from R-3 to a planned unit development.
– The council introduced for first reading an ordinance to approve the annexation petition by Patrick C. Davidson for 12.6 acres located at Sellers Drive.
– The council introduced for first reading an ordinance to pre-zone property consisting of 12.6 acres located at Sellers Drive to a retail/entertainment district prior to the annexation into the city of Opelika.