Opelika City Council Puts Forth Revised Rental Ordinance; Will Vote Sept. 21

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PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY THE CITY OF OPELIKA

BY MICHELLE KEY
PUBLISHER

Mayor Gary Fuller presented “Attaboy Awards” to Lieutenant Ben Blackburn and officer Calvin New from the Opelika Police Department during the Tuesday night city council meeting.

These officers went above and beyond the call of duty and helped provide needed services for a resident in need.

“One of the things that we’ve been working on at the police department is trying to do things better, making [Opelika] a better place,” said Police Chief Shane Healy. “We know what our normal job is — policing — we want to step outside of that. You guys are the epitome of that.”

RENTAL ORDINANCE

One month after tabling a proposed registration and inspection program for residential real estate, the Opelika City Council introduced a new revised ordinance.

Susan Bolt, a landlord in Opelika, voiced her concerns over the lack of communication between the council and the landlords of the area. 

“Note that I contacted each of the council members and asked to be involved in the solution,” Bolt said. “There were two council members that did not even acknowledge my email, so one has to wonder if  people really want to include the citizenry in a solution.”

She asked why there has been little to no transparency during the process of drafting the rental ordinance.

“Why won’t the council involve more people in a solution?” Bolt asked. “One can only draw the conclusion that it matters not what the citizens feel about this.”

Bolt pleaded with the council to open up the discussion and include those that desire to help find a solution to the issues at hand.

“Again, I ask this council to put a pause on this ordinance … Do your due diligence and include those of us that want to be involved.”

The council is expected to vote on this ordinance during the next meeting.

OTHER BUSINESS:

• The council approved a request by Opelika Main Street for the annual Johnny Ray Classic Event on Oct. 2.

• The council approved a request for the annual Life Chain Event on Oct. 17.

• The council approved an application for a beer and wine off-premises license for Murphy Oil USA Inc., dba Murphy USA 7794.

• The council held a public hearing for the amending of the zoning ordinance and map to rezone 1.26 acres of land located in the 500 Block of Rustic Street.

• The council held a public hearing for a weed abatement assessment for the property located at 313 S. 3rd St. The council later voted to approved the abatement.

• The council approved a bid for a new police department training facility.

• The council approved a bid for the replacement of a bridge located on CR-63 – North Uniroyal Road over Halawakee Creek.

• The council approved expense reports from various departments.

• The council approved a resolution to designate city personal property as surplus and to authorize the disposal of the items.

• The council approved a resolution to approve the fiscal year 2022 city budget. The total budget is for $147,974,022.

• The council approved a resolution to approve a proposal from Fieldturf for West Ridge Park.

• The council approved a resolution for the purchase of Synthetic Turf for two West Ridge Softball Fields.

• The council approved a resolution for the purchase of  Med-Tronic Lifepak mechanical CPR devices.

• The council approved a resolution for the purchase of an AED Sentinel.

• The council approved a resolution for the purchase of VRF heat and outdoor air systems, phase II.

• The council approved a resolution for the purchase of monitoring services for the VRF heat and outdoor systems.

• The council approved a resolution to approve a lease agreement with Opelika Housing Authority.

• The council approved a resolution to authorize the annual excess loss insurance contract with Lloyds Insurance Company.

• The council approved a resolution to authorize the non-participant services contract with Electric Cities of Georgia, Inc.

• The council approved a resolution to approve a proposal from iHeart Media for Radio advertising services.

• The council approved a resolution for a special appropriation to 3D Youth Development Academy, Inc. for $500.

• The council approved a resolution for a special appropriation to the Chamber of Commerce for the 20 Under Forty program for $2,500.

• The council approved a resolution for a special appropriation to the Chamber of Commerce for the Lee County Young Leaders program for $2,500.

• The council approved a resolution for a special appropriation  in the amount of $3,000 to the Opelika Parks and Rec. Sportsplex for the annual Health Fair to be held Oct. 5.

• The council approved an ordinance to amend the zoning ordinance and map to rezone 27,680 square feet of land located at 1109 Columbus Parkway.

• The council approved an ordinance to amend the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manuel to Designate Juneteenth a paid holiday for city employees.

• The council introduced an ordinance to approve a Lease Agreement with East Central Alabama Highway Safety Office for the first reading.

• The council introduced an ordinance to approve the rezoning of 1.26 acres of land located in the 500 block of Rustic Street from R-1 to R-3 for the first reading.

The next city council meeting will be held on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. with a work session held prior to the regular meeting. All meetings are open to the public and are held at 300 Martin Luther King Blvd. in Opelika.

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