By Lee Weyhrich
CLAY — The city of Clay has received the new traffic cameras, but unfortunately will not be able to install them yet.
At the Nov. 17 meeting the Clay City Council approved the purchase of four cameras to help monitor the intersection of Old Springville Road and Chalkville Mountain Road. The cameras have been purchased, but now the council has been informed that it will not be allowed to power the cameras at the control box for the lights.
Councilman Ricky Baker was originally under the impression that Jefferson County had already granted permission for the city to use the boxes. The county has since stated that the city will not be allowed to use those boxes, City Manager Ronnie Dixon said.
It may be necessary to return the cameras if alternative plans can’t be made.
One alternative will be for Clay officials to install power poles to feed the cameras, but due to new regulations, the poles will have to be six-by-six metal posts and be installed outside of “safety zone,” a certain number of feet from the road.
This new safety zone regulation doesn’t just affect power poles. Trees will have to be dug up between the Piggly Wiggly shopping center and Deerfoot Parkway due to a newer state law regarding trunk diameter within the safety zone, Dixon said.
“They are a larger diameter than is allowed for a 30 mph crash because it does so much damage,” Dixon said.
Once the trees are dug up, they may be transplanted near Clay City Park.
In other news, a proclamation made by the council Monday was a heartfelt one. It recognized the life of James Odell Richeson, who had served on the Board of Zoning Adjustments, and had been deeply involved in the community. Richeson died Nov. 17 at the age of 87.
“If you didn’t know Mr. Richeson, the city of Clay and the area of Chalkville was one of his greatest loves,” Councilwoman Becky Johnson said. “They (he and his wife) had no children, and he and his wife have done a lot of community service, and he did love the city of Clay.”
And even though winter weather has been well under way, city officials are still dealing with weed abatements. The council voted on nine abatement cases, five of which were at lots where homes had been destroyed by the Jan. 23, 2012 tornado and never rebuilt. The other four are unoccupied dwellings.