For the promotion of local economic and industrial development, the Lee County Commission and the City Council of the City of Opelika, any other provision of law or of this Constitution notwithstanding, shall have, independently or in cooperation with one another, full and continuing power to do any of the following:
(1) Use public funds to purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire land, or to utilize land heretofore purchased or otherwise acquired, and improve and develop such land for use as sites for industry of any kind or as industrial park projects, including, but not limited to, grading and the construction of roads, drainage, sewers, sewage and waste disposal systems, parking areas, and utilities to serve such sites or projects.
(2) Lease, sell, grant, exchange, or otherwise convey, on terms approved by the governing body of the county or the City of Opelika, as applicable, all or any part of any site or industrial park project to any individual, firm, corporation, or other business entity, public or private, including any industrial development board or other public corporation or authority heretofore or hereafter created by the county or any municipality therein, for the purpose of constructing, developing, equipping, and operating industrial, commercial, research, or service facilities of any kind.
(3) Lend its credit to or grant public funds and things of value in aid of or to any individual, firm, corporation, or other business entity, public or private, for the purpose of promoting the economic and industrial development of Lee County or the City of Opelika.
In carrying out the purposes of this amendment, neither Lee County nor the City of Opelika shall be subject to Sections 93 or 94 of this Constitution. Each public corporation heretofore created by Lee County or by the City of Opelika, including specifically any industrial development board incorporated under Chapter 54, Article 4, Title 11 of the Code of Alabama 1975, and any industrial development authority incorporated or reincorporated under Chapter 92A, Title 11 of the Code of Alabama 1975, is validated and the powers granted to such board or authority under its respective enabling legislation are validated notwithstanding any other provision of law or of this Constitution. The powers granted in this amendment may be exercised as an alternative to, or cumulative with, and in no way restrictive of, powers otherwise granted by law to the county, or to any municipality, or to any agency, board, or authority created pursuant to the laws of this state.
Neither Lee County nor the City of Opelika shall lend its credit to or grant any public funds or thing of value to or in aid of any private entity under the authority of this amendment unless prior thereto: (i) the action proposed to be taken by Lee County or the City of Opelika is approved at a public meeting of the governing body of the county or city, as the case may be, by a resolution containing a determination by such governing body that the expenditure of public funds for such purpose will serve a valid and sufficient public purpose, notwithstanding any incidental benefit accruing to any private entity or entities; and (ii) at least seven days prior to the public meeting, a notice is published in the newspaper having the largest circulation in the county or in the city, as the case may be, describing in reasonable detail the action proposed to be taken, a description of the public benefits sought to be achieved by such action, and identifying each individual, firm, corporation, or other business entity to whom or for whose benefit the county or the city proposes to lend its credit or grant public funds or thing of value. For purposes of the foregoing, any sale, lease, or other disposition of property for a price equal to the fair market value thereof shall not constitute the lending of credit or a grant of public funds or thing of value in aid of a private entity. (Amendment 642; Proposed by Acts 98-379 and 98-400, submitted at the Nov. 3, 1998, election, and proclaimed ratified Jan. 6, 1999, Proclamation Register No. 9, p. 387).