Opelika City Council Holds Packed Meeting

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Excitement abounded when the Food Bank of East Alabama received a $45,500 check from the Empty Bowls project. PHOTO BY KENDYL HOLLINGSWORTH / THE OBSERVER

BY KENDYL HOLLINGSWORTH

KENDYLH@OPELIKAOBSERVER.COM

OPELIKA —

The Opelika City Council recognized several residents and approved multiple items on the agenda at its May 17 meeting.

Council President Eddie Smith was absent from the meeting due to an ailment.

PROCLAMATIONS

Mayor Gary Fuller presented the “Attagirl Award” to Amy Bond, an Opelika native and seven-year employee of Opelika Power Services. The “Attaboy” and “Attagirl” awards are presented to Opelika public employees who go “above and beyond” in their duties, according to Fuller.

Fuller also read a proclamation recognizing Kenneth Burton “for his excellent and dedicated service to the city of Opelika and its children.” Burton has worked in the Opelika City Schools system since 1987 and will retire at the end of this month. Numerous supporters attended the meeting to support him.

Following the proclamation, the council recognized eight high school recipients of the Killgore scholarship and four high school Opelika Power Services/Alabama Municipal Electric Authority scholarship recipients.

The council also presented a $45,500 check to the Food Bank of East Alabama to be used for its annual Empty Bowls project.

OTHER BUSINESS

The Opelika Police Department opened the meeting by announcing a community partnership that establishes a crisis intervention team for Mental Health Awareness Month. Officer Chase Higgins said there are long-term plans to eventually expand to the four counties which East Alabama Mental Health serves: Lee, Tallapoosa, Russell and Chambers.

Opelika Chamber of Commerce President Ali Rauch presented positive business results from Food Truck Fridays.

Rita Smith, director of the Lee County Emergency Management Agency, also explained the need for more churches to volunteer to be a “safer location” in the event of inclement weather.

The council approved the following:

• A request to change the date of the “Grillin’ on the Tracks” event to Aug. 27, 2022

• A request for an alcohol license for Davis Corporate LLC, doing business as Auburn Billiard Sports Bar

• A request to continue Food Truck Friday nights in downtown Opelika

• Expense reports from various departments totaling $1,012.75 for work-related travel

• The designation and authorized disposal of personal property surplus

• Emergency repairs to OPS bucket truck #734 in the amount of $31,094.07

• The purchase of two-way radios and batteries from Motorola Solutions for the Fire Department using the State of Alabama Contract #T300 in the amount of $27,879.14

• The purchase of Christmas decorations in the amount of $54,896.40 from Downtown Decorations Inc. for the Parks and Recreation Department

• A resolution awarding the contract to build an archery range at Spring Villa to Moore’s Construction, LLC (instead of Roe Remodeling LLC) in the amount of $104,500

• A request to refund occupational license fees paid in error from 2019-2021 to Kacie T. Camp in the amount of $2,067.54

• The vacation of a portion of the northeasterly right of way of S. 10th Street

• A master services agreement with AUBix, LLC for to locate IT equipment to the Auburn-based multi-tenant data center

• A bulletproof vest grant application for the Opelika Police Department

• A grant application to the United States Department of Justice for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) requesting $47,619 for fiscal year 2022 to enhance local schools’ capacity to address youth violence

• An electric vehicle infrastructure grant application requesting $98,636 (60% of the total proposed project cost) for an electric vehicle charging site at Tiger Town

• A special use permit with Dish Wireless at Bay Court

• A special use permit with Dish Wireless at 3995 Gateway Dr.

• A resolution for a Mose and Mary Butler Family Reunion proclamation

• Special appropriations of $1,000 each (totaling $5,000) from discretionary funds of each of Opelika’s five wards to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Lee County

The council also addressed the following ordinances:

• Tabled an item to approve and adopt a plan for redistricting Opelika’s council districts until further information is available

• Introduced amendments to the zoning ordinance and map for the following locations:

• seven acres in the 2500 block of Frederick Road

•  six acres on Old Opelika Road and Frederick Road

• Introduced an amendment to the text of two parts of a zoning ordinance (9.5.24 and 9.7) pertaining to sign requirements and restrictions

Public hearings were held for the proposed amendments to the zoning ordinances and maps, as well as the vacation of a part of the northeasterly right of way of S. 10th Street and the amendments to the sign requirements. Only the rezoning of the 7 acres on Frederick Road received public comments. More information is available on page B9 in this week’s publication of The Observer.

The Opelika City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the meeting chambers of Opelika Municipal Court, located at 300 Martin Luther King Blvd. The meetings are open to the public.

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