BY MICHELLE KEY
Following a vote from the Opelika City Council, a new sixth grade school is coming to Opelika.
The Opelika City Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution that would appoint the Bradley Avant Boult Cummings law firm as bond counselor and Frazier Lanier as financial advisor for a bond issue to help Opelika City Schools.
The bond issue will help the school system finance the new sixth-grades school on Fox Run Parkway.
The resolution will also allow the city to reimburse anything that it spends, from the bond funds, on the project following the vote.
OCS Superintendent Farrell Seymore addressed the council during the work session on Tuesday night and asked the council to consider the resolution to issue a series of general obligation school warrants for the project.
“We will be able to fund around $12 million [of the $23 million dollar project and] we would ask your help for the remainder of that balance to sponsor a bond in issue,” Seymore said. “That will be paid solely by Opelika City Schools over the life of that debt, so the city would not incur any debt in that time.”
The city issuing the warrants for the project helps OCS in part due to the city’s excellent double A credit rating, which will lower the cost of borrowing for OCS.
The acceptance of a redistricting map for the city of Opelika has been delayed yet again. After a motion to remove the previously tabled item from Ward 5 Council Member Todd Rauch, the motion did not carry due to lack of a second. The proposed ordinance to accept what has been dubbed as “The Mayor’s Map” remains on the table, and if no action is taken before Sept. 13, 2022, it will go into effect by default. The council can still vote to remove the item from the table and vote to approve or disapprove the plan. An alternative plan has been put forth by the local NAACP chapter, but its map has not been placed on the agenda due to lack of a valid legal description that is required. A decision will be made at the next meeting on Sept. 6, even if that decision comes from the council taking no action at all.
Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller recognized several people during Tuesday night’s meeting. Opelika Police Officer Grant Gow was awarded a second Life-Saving Award for his quick thinking and actions while responding to a call of a gunshot victim in June of this year. Being the first person to arrive on the scene, Gow found the male victim bleeding from a gunshot wound to his leg and quickly applied a tourniquet to stem the bleeding until emergency medical personnel could provide further treatment. The victim survived and Gow is credited for saving the man’s life with his fast response.
Opelika Police Officer Christopher Fisher was recognized and awarded a Meritorious Service Award. Fisher responded to a call of a suspicious person and upon arriving at the scene, found an individual that appeared to be asleep at the wheel of an automobile at the gas pump of a local service station. Upon waking the individual, Fisher observed that the person has slurred speech and experienced difficulty following directions. Fisher noticed that the automobile was equipped with an alcohol interlock device, so he requested the individual exit the vehicle to perform field sobriety tests. It was during these tests, that Fisher had to help the individual several times to prevent the person from falling. Fisher was able to determine that the person might be suffering from a medical emergency and requested medical assistance where it was determined that the person needed to be transported to the hospital for further evaluation. It was later determined that the individual had suffered a stroke. Had Fisher mistaken the situation as the individual being impaired due to a substance, the individual may not received the necessary medical care needed at that time and the outcome could have been much worse.
Fuller also recognized the 2022-23 Twenty Under 40 class and the Mu Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority which is celebrating its 43rd year this upcoming weekend.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
– The council approved a bid for temporary personnel services from Burt Employment on an as-needed basis.
– The council approved a bid from Gresco Utility Supply for LED streetlights for Opelika Power Services.
– The council approved a bid from American Facility Services Inc. for custodial services for Opelika Power Services.
– The council approved a bid for a diesel tractor from BeShears Tractor & Equipment in the amount of $39,700.
– The council approved a bid from South Dade Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Inc. (SDAC) for a city-wide ADA roadway improvements project for an amount estimated to be approximately $1 million, which shall come from the Engineering Department budget.
– The council approved expense reports and also a resolution to designate certain city property as surplus and authorized its disposal.
– The council approved a resolution to amend the organizational charts and pay grades for multiple departments.
– The council approved a resolution renewing a three-year employment contract for the director of the Opelika Environmental Services, Terry M. White.
– The council approved a quote from CDW, LLC for the purchase of Samsara IoT data services for the IT Department.
– The council approved special use permits with Dish Wireless to install/co-locate its equipment at existing wireless telecommunication facilities located at 1981 Airport Road and 2002 Steel St.
– The city held a public hearing and also voted to approve a weed abatement for property located at 3307 Arnold Ave.
– The council voted to approve an ordinance that will amend the zoning ordinance and map to rezone 3.14 acres of land located at 3373 Society Hill Road from R-1 to C3, GC-P.
– The council voted to approve an ordinance that will amend the zoning ordinance and map to rezone 40 acres of land located in the 2900 block of Society Hill Road from R1 and C-2 to C-2.
– The council voted to approve an ordinance that will amend the City Code of Ordinances, Section 14-318, Revoking Business Licenses
– Ward 1 Council Member George Allen introduced an ordinance to amend the City Code of Ordinances, Sections 10-35 and 10-58, Solid Waste Disposal.
– Rauch introduced an ordinance to amend the city of Opelika Policies and Procedures Manual
– Ward 3 Council Member Tim Aja introduced an ordinance to renew a lease agreement with Envision Opelika Foundation Inc. The lease is for the property known as “the depot” in downtown Opelika, for a term of three years and the rent is listed as $1 per year.
– Upon the mayor’s recommendation, the council voted to appoint Mark Gatlin to the Historical Preservation Commission for a term to end on Aug. 19, 2025.
– Upon the mayor’s recommendation, the council voted to reappoint Mark Grantham to the Historical Preservation Commission for a term to end on Aug. 19, 2025.