By Michelle Key
Point Broadband of Alabama, LLC has decided to relocate its headquarters to Opelika. The city council voted to approve an agreement with the company following a public hearing. The move is expected to create an additional 25 jobs in Opelika, and the city will provide financial incentives to the company which may cash incentives, performance incentives, tax abatements and tax exemptions.
Chief General Council for Point Broadband, Chad Wachter said that the company discussed the significance of the acquisition of the OPS One in November 2018. “It was a really early significant milestone when we reached the agreement with Opelika to purchase OPS system,” Wachter said. He was complimentary of the support that Point has received from the city over the past few years. “Frankly, the city of Opelika does a tremendous job of supporting us and we try to support them.” When asked about why the decision was made to relocated to Opelika, Wachter said, “A lot of our people are here, and it is a centralized location for us. We have a great relationship with the city, and it just made a lot of sense.”
Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller said he is honored that the company decided to move its headquarters to Opelika. “Point Broadband is a great company that would be welcomed anywhere in the world,” Fuller said. “We are honored that they chose to located their headquarters in Opelika!”
EAMC Vice-President of Support Operations Bruce Zartman, Operations Manager Christine Hill and Mayor Gary Fuller recognized Opelika Library Director Rosanna McGinnis and President of the Opelika Chamber of Commerce, Ali Rauch, for their partnership with the Community Vaccine Clinic. The vaccine clinic ended up administering approximately 91,000 vaccines in the four and half months that the clinic was in operation. “We could not have done this without the support of the city of Opelika, and certainly the support of Rosanna,” Zartman said. “I don’t know what the final count was for volunteers, but she [Rosanna] partnered with Joe David with Auburn United Methodist Church and at the last count, they had 1,900 volunteers.”
Rauch expressed her gratitude to the city of Opelika that made it possible for the Chamber of Commerce to provide meals “I am very proud to be up here on behalf of the Chamber to accept this. We did the logistics of making sure food got delivered, but if it wasn’t for the financial support from the city of Opelika, we wouldn’t have been able to.”
“She [Ali] marshalled together the best cooks in Opelika and brought us wonderful food and kept us well-fed,” Zartman said. “This is truly a community that is unmatched. Everytime East Alabama needs something, the community steps up. This was absolutely no exception to that, and I am grateful from the bottom of my heart,” he added.
During the meeting Mayor Gary Fuller recognized the Opelika Parks & Recreation Track Team that participants in the Alabama State Games in Enterprise and the qualifiers for the State Games of America 2022 which will be held in Iowa. Four team members were recognized by the mayor:
- Isaac Murphy – first place in the 400-meter, first in the 200-meter and first in the 100-meter
- Kendrick Evans – third place in the 100-meter and second in the long-jump
- Ava Thomas – first in the 400-meter, third in the 200-meter, third in the 100-meter and fourth in the long-jump
- Alana Thomas – first in shot-put.
- The council approved a request from Dreamz Lounge & Pool Hall, LLC dba Dreamz Lounge, for a retail liquor Class I and on-premises beer license.
- The council held a public hearing regarding the demolition of a structure located at 600 Meadow Ave. and later voted to approve the demolition.
- The council held public hearings and voted to approve several weed abatement assessments for the following properties:
– 1733 1st Ave.
– 308 Brannon Ave.
– 206 Byrd Ave.
– 1109 Magnolia St.
– 514 Old Columbus Road
– 105 Vaughan Ave.
– 810 Williamson Ave.
– The council held a public hearing and the first reading on the rezoning and master plan amendments for 3.91 acres of land located on the Robert Trent Jones Trail.
- The council voted to approve expense reports from various departments.
- The council voted to designate city personal property surplus and authorize the disposal of said property.
- The council voted to approve the purchase 624 Toter 96-gallon universal and nestable carts for Environmental Services.
- The council voted to approve the purchase a 17.5 Ton RTU HVAC replacement system for the public works department.
- The council voted to approve the purchase the licensing for a salesforce platform.
- The council voted to approve the purchase Google Cloud Computing and Disaster Recovery Services software for the IT Department.
- The council voted to approve the purchase a SalesForce Government Capsule – Implementation and Services for the IT Department.
- The council voted to approve a request for a refund of occupational license fees.
- The council voted to approve the abatement of building permit fees for the Fuller Center for Housing.
- The council voted to approve a letter of agency to granite telecommunications for the billing of communications services.
- The council voted to approve to authorize an agreement with Auburn University for Alabama Recycling Funds Grant Program Administration.
- The council voted to approve the 2021 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant application for the Opelika Police Department.
- The council voted to authorize the submission of a grant application for the Veterans Parkway extension project.
- The council voted to approve a special appropriation in the amount of $1,000 for National Night Out 2021 to be held on Aug. 3.
- The council voted to approve a special appropriation from Ward 2 discretionary funds to the Domestic Violence Intervention Center in the amount of $500.
- The council voted to approve an ordinance to amend the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual.
The Opelika City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday nights of every month. Meetings are held in the municipal courtroom located at 300 Martin Luther King Blvd. and start at 7 p.m. Meetings are open to the public. Work sessions are also open to the public and are held prior to the 7 p.m. meetings.