BY MICHELLE KEY
The Opelika City Council held a public hearing for a project agreement between the city of Opelika and The Taylor at Opelika LLC during Tuesday night’s city council meeting. As part of the agreement, the city agreed to install and construct various public infrastructure improvements, as identified as being necessary to accomplish the construction of the apartment complex. These infrastructure improvements include widening /improvements of streets, sidewalks and utilities and more.
Ward 3 Council Member Tim Aja voted against the project agreement.
“Eighteen months ago, I voted against the zoning that approved The Taylor and since then, talking with more of my constituency, there has been no change there,” Aja said. “… and the thought process is that this is not in the best interest of Opelika. I personally believe that this project will face quite an uphill battle when it comes to getting filled, and this apartment complex failing in this location that is going to be the future primary route in and out of Opelika will be a huge problem for the city that I hope does not come to fruition. I cannot vote to provide public funds towards this project…”
However, Aja did say that should the complex be built that he wishes it well.
“… If this project does get built, I certainly wish it well,” Aja said. “Once its built it needs to suceed; that will be in the best interest of Opelika.”
The resolution for the project agreement passed with Ward 2 Council Member and Pro-Tem Erica Baker-Norris abstaining from the vote, Aja voted nay and the other three councilmembers voting to approve.
The complex will consist of 198 units and will be built upon the 7.14 acre plot of land that is located at the intersection of Avenue C and South 10th Street. The project is expected to have a capital investment from the company of a little more than $35.5 million.
The city of Opelika and the Character in Action Council honored the late Selena Daniels during the meeting Tuesday night.
Daniels, a well-loved and respected member of the community passed away Aug. 14, 2023, at the age of 89.
Baker-Norris read the award to the family of Daniels and offered encouragement to them.
“I chose Mrs. Daniels because she had a tremendous impact in Opelika’s Ward 2,” Baker-Norris said. “She put the building blocks down for what we call today affordable housing. Had it not been for her, there is a lot of people that would not have been first-time homeowners.”
Daniels granddaughter, Lydia Mitchell vowed to continue the good work her grandmother was known for.
“On behalf of my yfamily and my grandmother I would like to say thank you so much for this prestigious honor,” Mitchell said. “We definitely plan to keep the train moving because we have huge shoes to fill. She is deeply missed and we will carry on everything that we can, as much as we can, because she was an amazing woman.”
IN OTHER BUSINESS
- The council approved a request for the Annual Life Chain Event on Oct. 22. The event will take place at the crossroads of Gateway and Frederick Road from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
- The council approved a request from First Baptist Church Opelika for a street closure for its Fall Festival on Oct. 29.
- The council approved a request from Ohanamart LLC doing business as Ohanamart 3, for a retail beer and retail wine off premise license.
- The council held a public hearing for a weed abatement for property located at 1819 1st Ave. and later voted to approve the assessment in the amount of $363.56.
- The council approved a bid for a residential building demolition of a structure located at 622 S. 4th St. and 315 S. 4th St. The bid was awarded to L&L Hauling and Backhoe LLC in the amount of $30,500.
- The council approved expense reports from city employees
- The council approved a resolution to designate city property as surplus and authorized its disposal.
- The council approved a resolution to amend the CDBG Program Year (PY) 2021 Action Plan and $60,000 from PY2021 will be allocated to PY 2022 Action Plan budget under the Emergency Home Repairs Program.
- The council approved a resolution to amend the organizational charts adding the positions, Police Social Work Coordinator, Assistant Athletics Coordinator, Membership Coordinator/Support Worker and Assistant Swimming Coach for the Parks and Recreation Department. Job descriptions and more information on the positions can be found in the city council agenda packet on the city website.
- The council approved the annual general liability insurance agreement with Marsh & McLennan Agency. The resolution allows for purchase orders for premiums for the city’s insurance portfolio not to exceed $791,603.
- The council approved the group health insurance contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.
- The council approved the Historic Preservation grant application for G. W. Carver Hall. The city is seeking a grant for an amount not to exceed $746,740 to be used to repair and renovate the building.
- The council approved a professional services agreement with Barrett-Simpson for the design of the McCoy Street improvements for lane realignment and pedestrian improvements. The estimated fee for these services is $189,600.
- The council approved refunds for two citizens for sewer fees paid in error.
- The council approved a resolution to transfer current year city council discretionary fund balances.
- The council approved an ordinance for an annexation petition by James M. Veasey Sr. and James M. Veasey Jr. to annex 5.2 acres of land located at 2822 Old Columbus Road into the city limits.
- The council appointed Tim Moore to the Property Maintenance Board of Appeals for the Existing Term that will expire March 16, 2024 and also to the Board of Adjustments and Appeals (New Construction) for the existing term that expires on Oct. 1, 2024.
- The council reappointed David Hudmon to the Board of Adjustments and Appeals (New Construction) for a new term that will expire Oct. 1, 2027.
- The council reappointed James Smith Sr. to the Lee County Youth Development Center Board for a new term that will expire Oct. 1, 2027.