Four-term Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller recently delivered another “state of the city” address, and it was another impressive report on the city’s progress and vitality.
“It’s exciting to see our small, conservative town flourish,” Fuller told the crowd attending the luncheon, which was sponsored by the Opelika Chamber of Commerce.
The city of Opelika deserves applause on several fronts. A few quick hits from Fuller’s highlights:
--There was $700 million invested and 710 new jobs created over the past five years.
--Almost $32 million in sales tax was reached in 2018.
--East Alabama Medical Center began construction of its new Spencer Cancer Center, slated to open by early summer.
--Road improvements include new roundabouts at troublesome intersections, and the extension of the Sportsplex road to Interstate 85.
--Construction on a new public safety building is under way and should be completed by autumn.
It wasn’t all roses for Opelika, as there were challenges, such as the sale of its OPS ONE broadband service, the frustrating chore of dealing with smelly algae in the water supply last spring, and the disappointment voiced by many longtime local residents over the Chamber’s cancelation of the 2018 Christmas parade.
Yet, even those met with diligent efforts to make things right. Opelika residents and businesses do have options now for their internet service, the water is back to normal, and there are plans by the Chamber for the Christmas parade to return this year.
Previous concerns about crime were met with the creation in 2018 of a diverse Commission on Crime and Violence, which is exploring ways to prevent and respond to criminal activity.
There also should continue to be lofty goals set and reached as Opelika moves forward. However, the state of the city does indeed seem to be good and on solid ground.