By Michelle Key
The Opelika City Council voted to approve the expenditure of $400,000 of grant funds received from Alabama Department Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to renovate a portion of the Southside Center for the Arts into an approximate 2,300 square foot senior center. The new facility will include two large classrooms, office, three ADA bathrooms and a warming kitchen. This will provide ample space for seniors to social distance while receiving social interaction, enrichment activities and daily meals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Out of the remaining grant funds, $54,000 will be used to support Opelika Main Street programs designed to support downtown local businesses. Activities will include:
• COVID Recovery Supplies for Business (masks, gloves, HEPA filters, cleaning supplies, plexiglass barriers, step-n-pull door openers, social distancing sign/stickers, etc.)
• a-frame signs for advertising
• hand sanitizer stations and refills throughout downtown
• grants for e-commerce operations and/or telework equipment
• grants to enhance outdoor dining areas and/or takeout operations
• additional tents and folding tables for events to social distance and promote businesses
• expansion of sound system to cover additional area for social distancing and
$46,000 will be used to install benches, tables and chairs strategically placed to encourage social distancing and support downtown businesses.
In other business, the council
- voted to approve requests from Opelika Main Street for the On Tap Craft Beer Event to be held on May 8, the Touch-A-Truck event on June 5 and Burger Wars also to be held on June 5
- voted to approve a bid for the downtown streetscape project to the Stuart C. Irby Company
- voted to approve as an emergency purchase, new pumps and control panel for the Wyndham pumps and lift station
- voted to approve the purchase of police equipment for 2021 police package automobile
- voted to approve the purchase of a 2020 John Deere 325G compact track loader and severe duty pallet fork
- voted to approve the purchase of a 2022 Ford F350 Super Cab and Chassis
- voted to approve the Construction of Subdivision entrance sign for Fox Run Village
- voted to approve an extension of the tax abatement of sales and use taxes for Pharmavite, LLC
- voted to approve Pharmavite, LLC tax abatements and exemptions in relationship to a new project with a capital investment of $3,390.000, and an anticipated 81 new jobs
- voted to approve a request for the letter authorizing an agreement for an ATRIP Grant for Columbus Parkway project
- held the first reading of an ordinance regarding the leasing of a portion of the property located at 1103 Glenn St., to Envision Opelika Foundation, Inc.
- voted to reappoint Antione Harvis to the Board of Education for a new term ending April 1, 2026
- voted to appoint Dennis Davis to the Mental Health Center Board for a term ending April 1, 2027.
The Opelika city council meets on the first and third Tuesday night of every month. Meetings are held in the municipal court located at 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Work sessions are held before the meeting and both meetings are open to the public. Meetings start at 7 p.m.