By Michelle Key
In a 4:1 vote with the nay vote coming from Ward 3 Councilman Robert Lofton, the Opelika City Council approved an alcohol license application for Cracker Barrel. During the Dec. 15 meeting, the council had voted 2:2 resulting in a denial of the application for the restaurant. Lofton stated that residents in Ward 3 had responded to him in a 10-to-1 ratio against the application.
Also during the meeting, Mayor Gary Fuller and the city council recognized John Emerald Distillery for their recent awards at the PR%F (“proof”) Awards, which is an international spirits, wine and mixers competition. John Emerald Distillery, owned by father and son team John and Jimmy Sharp, brought home two Gold Awards and three Silver Awards. “[JED] are another reason Opelika is a destination location,” said Director of Economic Development Lori Huguley.
“We have bragged on y’all, all over the world and we have carried gifts from John Emerald all over the world,” Fuller said. “We are so proud of y’all.”
Fuller also presented a proclamation declaring January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Opelika, and an “Atta Boy Award” to Opelika Police Officer Chase Higgins for his work with the OPD.
In other business, the council voted to
approve the purchase of equipment for police vehicles.
approve a change order for the Industrial Boulevard Improvements Project.
approve the East Alabama Regional Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan: Phase One 2020, which identifies mitigation goals and actions to reduce or eliminate long term risk to people and property in the City of Opelika from the impacts of future hazards and disasters.
reprogram unused Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from program years 2018 and 2019 to the same activities for program year 2020.
approve the construction of a subdivision sign in the right-of-way of Wyndham Village Drive for Wyndham Village Subdivision Phase One.
authorize an engagement letter with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP to represent the city of Opelika in a lawsuit that was filed in the Circuit Court of Lee County, Alabama by 280 Land Company, LLC against the city of Opelika on Dec. 17, 2020.
approve an ordinance to amend the zoning ordinance and map to rezone 6.23 acres of land located in the 2000 Block of Cunningham Drive.
City council meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday nights of every month in the municipal court building, which is located at 300 Martin Luther King Blvd. Meetings start promptly at 7 p.m. following work sessions, which are also open to the public.