By Crystal McGough
For The Tribune
CLAY — The Clay City Council announced the awarding of its monthly school grants at the regular council meeting on Tuesday, February 28 at City Hall.
Each month during the school year, the council awards $500 a piece to one classroom at each of the city’s schools. Teachers interested in the grants submit applications to the City, which reviews the applications and selects a winner.
“It is time for our school grants again and these are for January,” Councilor Dennis Locke said. “That’s in addition to the money we give them in January and August from the sales tax.”
Casey Stith, a 5th Grade teacher, will receive the grant for Clay Elementary.
“These funds will be used to purchase additional Chromebooks for research, typing, Google Classroom and differentiated instruction,” Locke said.
A Chromebook is a type of laptop computer that runs on Google’s Chrome operating system.
Social Studies teacher Heather Cagle will receive the grant for Clay-Chalkville Middle School. Cagle also plans to use the funds to purchase additional Chromebooks for her classroom.
“She’s going to help integrate technology in the classroom with that,” Locke said. “Many of her students do not have computers at home, so this is their only opportunity to learn to work with them.”
The grant for Clay-Chalkville High School will be awarded to Architecture, Construction and Electrical instructor William White, who plans to purchase tools such as hammers, tape measures, pliers and other materials for his students to use.
“Congratulations to our three winners,” Locke said.
In addition, Mayor Charles Webster encouraged the citizens of Clay to go vote on Tuesday, March 7, for the renewal of Jefferson County property taxes that help fund the county schools.
“Next Tuesday we’re having an election for one thing only, and that’s to re-establish our taxes that have been in affect for the last 27 years,” Webster said. “It’s no new taxes, but it’s all for the schools. It’s just re-instating the taxes that we already have in place now to help our schools out. This is county wide. We need to get that tax passed.”
Webster said that this ad valorem tax, which must be renewed every 30 years, was established in 1991 and will expire in 2021. It benefits all Jefferson County Schools, as well as Trussville City Schools and Birmingham City Schools, and has been consistently renewed since it first began.
“If we don’t pass it, the schools are going to lose a lot of money,” Webster said. “There won’t be any refurbishing of schools and fixing issues with air conditioning and stuff like that.”
There will be four different taxes on the ballot and citizens can vote at their regular polling places on March 7 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
In other city news, Clay added its 5th city deputy, Christina (Tina) Jones, on Saturday and introduced her at tonight’s council meeting.
City Manager Ronnie Dixon said that the city plans to add a 6th deputy, “not this Saturday, but next.”
Councilor Don Baker, additionally, took a moment to speak on the recent death at Cosby Lake Park.
“First and foremost, I’d like to offer my condolences, thoughts and prayers to the family of the young man that passed away at Cosby,” he said. “From the community and all, I would just ask that anybody who feels so inclined would keep that family in your thoughts and prayers.”