By Anna-Claire Terry
Mayor Gary Fuller spoke on the state of the city in the annual address Friday at the Saugahatchee Country Club. The speech was given to an audience chock-full of city and county officials and business owners. After a few playful wise cracks, Fuller got down to business. He spoke on new industries and jobs that will arrive in Opelika in 2016. Fuller said 2015 was another great year for Opelika. “Our revenues were better than budgeted, and our expenses were less than budgeted. That’s a pretty good combination, isn’t it?” he said. Fuller said he believes that prosperity comes from having good jobs in the city of Opelika and that he plans to continue to focus on economic growth and development in 2016.
Fuller also noted that downtown Opelika continues to be the “heart and soul” of the city. “All that downtown has to offer contributed to Opelika being recognized as one of the top seven main streets of 2015,” he said.
Opelika also earned the title of Alabama’s first gig city in 2015. Fuller also recognized the work of Round House, Sen. Tom Whatley, Spring Villa Park, the curbside recycling system, Jimmy Wright, the Carver-Jeter Master Plan, the demolition process for dilapidated structures, the Barbasol Championship, the Opelika City School System and Southern Union Community College for their contribution to the growth of the city.
In closing, Fuller spoke on the bright future of Opelika. “We’ve been around for about 162 years and had some good years, but I think our best year is still ahead of us,” he said. He requested that citizens keep him, the city council and city employees in their prayers for the upcoming year. “God’s grace and guidance continues to make a difference in the life of our community,” he said.