Long-term plan for Opp: move library, attract business

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Opp City Council adopted its first comprehensive plan in years Monday, committing to paper ideas, desired actions and policies developed by the city council and the city’s Downtown Revitalization Authority.

“This document takes some past planning plans and comes up with a broad, general idea of what the future should be,” said City Planner Jason Brown. “It’s a way of telling everyone these are the things we hold dear and what we want to see. It also helps when trying to secure financing for projects. It’s a statement that these are the things we want to focus our efforts and money toward.”

Bartholomew echoed Brown’s description.

“It’s for betterment of Opp, for all our people to look at and see what direction we’re following and what direction we’re going,” he said.

The plan, which will be placed on the city’s website in the coming days, was designed to “remain at the center of the decisions of stakeholders, both public and private, as the city continues to evolve and develop.”

It outlines goals for community development, community facilities and services, economic development, future land use, housing and neighborhood development and municipal infrastructure.

To do that, examples of actions include increasing exposure for local artists and community events; upgrading existing facilities, parks and pools and encouraging organized senior citizens events.

City officials look to grow and attract retail business, support local education facilities and encourage the development of a revolving loan fund to assist small business investment and financing.

The city also looks to amend existing zoning regulations to “increase efficient and sustainable development of the community.”

Projects outlined in the plan were moving the city library to the central section of town to increase access to service; recruiting investors and business ventures that address the city’s housing needs; extending water and sewer lines around the Veteran’s Memorial Parkway and rehabbing and replacing water and sewer lines within existing neighborhoods.

Council members Mary Brundidge and T.D. Morgan voted against its adoption, both stating they wanted additional time to review it.

In other business, the council:

• approved an off-premise beer and tobacco licenses for Lake Grocery;

• declared more than 100 various pieces of office supply, shop equipment and police equipment as surplus items and to sell it on govdeals.com;

• voted to accept bids on a renovations at Channell-Lee Stadium including fixing a retaining wall on the backside of the stadium and rehab the concession stand; and,

• voted to spend $1,000 to landscape between the stadium and Dr. Lanier’s office.