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Smiths Station City Council approves resolution authorizing formation of Road Name Change Committee

By Morgan Bryce

Assistant Communications Director

The Smiths Station City Council approved a resolution authorizing the formation of a Road Name Change Committee during Tuesday’s meeting.

Committee members include Chairman Richard Cooley, Vice Chairman Morris Jackson, Planning & Zoning Administrator Lisa Deason, Executive Assistant Brenda Dockery, Assistant Communications Director Morgan Bryce, and Citizen Volunteer Steve Henley.

The committee’s primary goal is to rename roads located within the city limits to their historical designations or names significant to Smiths Station. They will hold weekly meetings and work in tandem with local first responder agencies and the Post Office as the City moves forward with this initiative.

“This is an issue that our citizens and leadership have been interested in pursuing since incorporation, and we now have the resources in place to make this longtime dream a reality,” said Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland. “I believe it will help promote a stronger community spirit among our residents and give us an even greater sense of identity as a City.”

In coming weeks, a public forum will be scheduled for committee members and City officials to inform citizens on the status of this initiative and receive their input.   

For more information, contact Mr. Cooley at 706-575-0642 or Mr. Jackson at 706-905-1247.

July 2020 Business of the Month – JT Screen Printing & More

By Morgan Bryce/Assistant Communications Director

JT Screen Printing & More, located at 16541 U.S. Highway 280 Suite D in the Buckeye Acres Shopping Center, is the City of Smiths Station’s July 2020 Business of the Month.

The family-owned business was opened last April, but the father-son operators Tommy Rumph and Justin Riley have a combined 50-plus years of experience in the screen-printing industry based in the Auburn-Opelika area.

“When deciding to open, the thought was of bringing something that Smiths Station and surrounding area didn’t have,” Riley said.

Riley’s younger brother Scott works part-time at JT’s while his fiancé Sydney handles bookkeeping duties for the business.

Despite the relative newness of his family’s business, Riley said they have developed a consistent wholesale income and have cultivated meaningful relationships with area companies and organizations to handle their screen-printing needs. They are also capable of printing for smaller clients or for special events or functions.

Riley said JT’s competitive pricing and quality product helps separate the business from their competition.

“Instead of using an automatic method like heat transfer, we use a hand-stenciling technique. After that has been applied, they are run through a machine that dries that oil-based ink at 307 degrees (Fahrenheit),” Riley said. “It’s a better quality and the print or design lasts longer.”

In front of JT’s is a small retail section showcasing samples of their work.

Hours of operation for the business are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time. For more information, call 334-214-4577, follow their Facebook page “JT Screenprinting & More,” send email to jtprinting19@gmail.com or visit jtscreenprintingandmore.com.

Smiths Station City Council approves major purchase for City’s Public Works Department

By Morgan Bryce/Assistant Communications Director

The development of the City of Smiths Station’s Public Works Department took a major step forward with the addition of a Bobcat skid steer loader, a purchase that was approved by resolution during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Council members made a motion to move their Tuesday, August 25th meeting to Thursday, August 27th due to a scheduling conflict with the municipal election.

The council approved the General Fund Budget for 2020-2021 proposed by Finance Officer Shelby Branton.

“Shelby is about two to three months ahead of schedule in getting this done,” said Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland. “I appreciate her dedication and efforts to keeping our city’s financial matters in order.”

The council also approved an ordinance re-establishing, enforcing, and maintaining the city’s motor fuels tax, which helps fund repaving projects throughout the city. The current tax is equal to two cents on each gallon of motor fuel sold or delivered within the city limits.

The Smiths Station City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month with the work session starting at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time followed by the regular meeting at 6 p.m. Their meetings are held within the council chambers of the Smiths Station Government Center, which is located at 2336 Lee Road 430. For more information, call 334-297-8771.

Lee County Revenue’s satellite office in Smiths Station to reopen on June 29th

The Lee County Revenue’s satellite office in Smiths Station will reopen next Monday, June 29th and resume their normal operating hours of 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday. All COVID-19 protective measures will be followed. This includes waiting in a socially distanced line outside the facility, receiving a temperature screening and wearing masks for the duration of your visit.

A reminder that the Auburn satellite revenue office and Lee County Courthouse are open and providing the same services. All vehicle renewals can be processed online and vehicle registration and renewals due in the months of March, April, May, and June have been extended to July 17th, 2020.

If you need to visit the probate or City of Smiths Station offices, there is no need to wait in line. Come to the front and inform the stationed deputy of where you need to go. The same COVID-19 protective measures will apply. Hours for probate are the same as the revenue office and the City’s hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, call the following numbers:

334-291-1326/334-737-3655 (Smiths Station Revenue Satellite Office and main Lee County Revenue office numbers)

334-448-3299/ 334-737-3670 (Smiths Station Probate Satellite Office and main Lee County Probate office numbers)

334-297-8771 (City of Smiths Station)

Other City/County News: All City and County offices will be closed on July 3rd in observance of the July 4th holiday. Regular hours of operation will resume on the following Monday, July 6th. Solid waste schedules will not be affected.

City of Smiths Station reopens Historic Jones Store Museum, Lending Libraries

By Morgan Bryce

Assistant Communications Director

The City of Smiths Station’s Historic Jones Store Museum and Lending Libraries are open to the public for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in mid-March.

The museum, which houses a wide array of artifacts and items unique to Smiths Station’s rich heritage, is now open for guided tours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesdays and Thursdays. When guests arrive, they are asked to call 334-297-8771 to set-up a tour, which will be conducted by a city official.

Groups will be limited to 10 or fewer guests and the wearing of masks will be required during their tour of the facility. Saturday tours will return later in the summer.

Hours of operation for the lending libraries will be 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday. To comply with social distancing guidelines, there will be a limit of one adult and two children per library room, and masks will be required during their visit.

“The museum and Lending Library are important ways for us to connect with our our citizens and people from surrounding communities. We hope that people are patient with us during this slow process of reopening,” said Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland.

For more information and updates, follow the City’s Facebook page or visit www.smithsstational.gov.

City, school leaders warn of sponsorship scam

Dear Smiths Station businesses and churches,

There’s a fraudulent company soliciting donations from businesses and churches in Smiths Station. They are asking for money for the business or church logo to be on the Smiths Station High School football jersey. Number one, we do not have logos on our jerseys, and number two, if we were to solicit donations, it would be from a school employee or student.

Sorry for any misunderstanding. Go Panthers!

Sincerely,
Dr. Brad Cook and Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland

Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland, Smiths Station City Council proclaim June 4 as ‘Smiths Station Unity Walk Day’

By Morgan Bryce
Assistant Communications Director

Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland and the Smiths Station City Council signed a proclamation during Tuesday night’s meeting naming June 4 each year as “Smiths Station Unity Walk Day” in the city.

Copeland and Smiths Station native Vincent Hunter organized the inaugural event, which was held last Thursday. An estimated 350 to 400 people participated in the walk, marching from Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church down Lee Road 298 to the front steps of the Smiths Station Government Center.

“I think the people in Smiths Station care a lot about each other,” said Place 2 Councilman and President Pro Tem Morris Jackson during Tuesday’s meeting. “We don’t look at a person’s skin color here. We thank you Mayor for letting this go on and look forward to it again next year and seeing it get bigger and bigger.”

The council also named City Clerk Scott Johnston as the city’s Election Manager for the Aug. 25 municipal election, a role that includes candidate qualification beginning next month.

The Smiths Station City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month with the work session beginning at 5:30 p.m. Eastern followed by the regular meeting at 6 p.m. All meetings are held within the council chambers of the Smiths Station Government Center, which is located at 2336 Lee Road 430.

Smiths Station City officials participate in wreath-laying ceremony honoring life of George Floyd

Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland and Smiths Station City Council members George Stringer and Morris Jackson participated in a wreath-laying ceremony held Monday afternoon at Courthouse Square in downtown Opelika honoring the life of George Floyd.

The event was organized by City of Opelika Councilwoman Patsy Jones. In addition to the Smiths Station contingent, attendees included Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller and four members of the Opelika City Council, Auburn Mayor Ron Anders and three members of the Auburn City Council, Lee County State Delegation members, Lee County commissioners, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones and representatives from the Auburn and Opelika police departments.

Jones and Fuller led the procession and placed the wreath under a nearby pavilion. The rest of the group walked over and formed a semi-circle, spending the next 8 minutes and 46 seconds in silence, the same amount of time that Floyd’s neck was pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer and caused his untimely death.

“By being here today representing the City of Smiths Station, we want show that we are joining our neighboring cities and towns in Lee County in honoring the life of George Floyd as well as tell the world that we are a community that stands for equality and equal treatment of everyone, regardless of their gender, race or sexual orientation,” Copeland said.

Auburn University donates care bags for Smiths Station youth sports leagues

By Morgan Bryce

Assistant Communications Director

On Friday, June 5, Sidney James Nakhjavan and a representative from the Auburn University College of Human Sciences donated 1,800 bags filled with coloring books and crayons to be distributed to children who participate in youth sports at the Smiths Station Sports Complex. Pictured from left to right are Parks and Recreation assistant Hunter Purvis, Maintenance Technician Charlie Dozier, Assistant Communications Director Morgan Bryce and Event Coordinator Taylor Verbowski.

The City of Smiths Station holding Peace Walk on June 4

Smiths Station Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland and members of the Smiths Station City Council, along with a contingent of local African American figures and leaders, will participate in a Peace Walk on Thursday, June 4 beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern time.

The walk will begin at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church (784 Lee Road 298) and end in front of the flagpoles at the Smiths Station Government Center (2336 Lee Road 430). Once all walkers have assembled, there will be thoughts and prayers offered for peace and unity in our city, county, and country.

“Our community came together last year after the March 3 tornadoes, and we need to come together now  as a city and community to take a stand against racism and division, because the recent acts of violence that have occurred in our country are not reflective of the beliefs and values that we hold here in Smiths Station,” Copeland said. “We want to show that we are a united front, regardless of our gender, race, or sexual orientation.”

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, walkers are encouraged to wear a mask, but they are not mandatory. There will be masks available for those who wish to wear them during the walk.

Following the event, transportation back to Mount Olive will be available for walkers.