Tuesday night’s City Council began with a moment of silence for County Commissioner Johnny Lawrence, who died of COVID-19 at the end of July.
“Johnny was a fixture in this community for all of his life,” said Mayor Ron Anders. “He wanted his community to be the best place it could be. Johnny will be missed, and my prayers will certainly be with his family.”
Lawrence served the Auburn community through the fire department for 30 years and through the County Commission for 18 years. Anders and Ward 3 Council member Beth Witten spoke towards Lawrence’s love for his community.
Anders announced that the Council will resume discussions on both student housing and short-term rentals. Local governments were asked at the beginning of the pandemic to keep meetings brief, but the City has needs to address that have been previously tabled.
The City’s government will continue through Zoom calls for the foreseeable future, said City Manager Jim Buston. Meetings will cover topics as they previously had before the pandemic.
The Council was shown a video of Anders recognizing employees of the month and other service awards. Awards had not been given to City employees since March.
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Anders also announced the retirement of Captain Lorenza Dorsey. He served the City of Auburn’s Police Division for 34 years.
“Words can’t describe what Captain Dorsey has meant to our City and meant to me as a person,” said Ward 8 Council member Tommy Dawson. “He started with the Police Division in 1986 and I started in 1987, so we worked together throughout our entire careers. He got me through some tough times … he will thoroughly be missed.”
Ward 5 Council member Steven Dixon recounted an auto accident he was involved in in 1992. Dawson and Dorsey arrived on the scene and helped save his life.
Two residents of the Solamere subdivision spoke to the Council about rezoning in preparation for the Plainsman Lake subdivision. They brought forward concerns of access to the new housing project, as the only access is planned to be through the preexisting neighborhood.
The Council discussed the rezoning in their prior meeting, but Ward 2 Council member Kelley Griswold denied the unanimous approval required.
City Engineer Alison Frazier said plans can be made with Alabama Department of Transportation to provide a temporary construction access point for the project. The application would have to be made by Bolt Engineering.
The rezoning was unanimously approved by the Council.
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