By Crystal McGough
CLAY – The Clay City Council unanimously passed Resolution 2020-08 Tuesday night, awarding the bid for the Cosby Lake dredging project to M & N of Alabama, LLC.
“It is a resolution to allow the mayor to sign a contract for the dredging of Cosby Lake,” City Manager Ronnie Dixon said. “The low bid was M & N of Alabama: $486,920.”
Barry Fagan of Volkert, Inc., evaluated the bidders for the city.
“As you remember, two weeks ago we only had two bidders submit bids,” Fagan said. “One was right in the middle of our estimate range. The other was about twice that. After a review of both bids, the one that was within budget and the low bid, everything was on the up-and-up, so we made a recommendation to you guys to approve that contract.”
The dredging project is expected to begin in July and be completed in late October. During that time, Cosby Lake Park will remain open, though the lake will be closed.
“The contractor will probably start mobilizing the second to the last week of July (and) start work that next week,” Fagan said. “He’s got to order a turbidity curtain, custom turbidity curtain; it’ll come out of Texas. That’s probably going to decide when he can actually start work is when that thing can be made and shipped here. But we’re thinking last week of July, first week of August.”
Fagan explained that the purpose of the turbidity curtain is to separate the work area in order to keep the murky water from the stirred up sediment contained and separated from any clean water coming into and going out of the lake.
“They’ll bring a big crane in to set their dredging equipment into the lake, and the majority of their equipment will be floating and out there in the lake,” he said. “The way the project is set up is we’ll dredge from the shallow end, the place where the sediment has been deposited over the last hundred years, and since the lake is so deep – it’s 25 feet deep there at the low end – we’re going to deposit that sediment down on the lower end. So we’re shooting for a minimum 8-foot depth, and that’s to prevent sunlight from reaching the bottom (and) cut down on the algae growth and the submerged plants. On the side closest to the road, closest to the majority of your visitors, there will be a shelf on a 4-1 slope that extends out for a distance, and then down on a 3-1 slope beyond that, till we get to the 8-foot depth. It will take about 90 days to complete the project.”
A public hearing was held during the council meeting concerning weeds at 5209 Baggett Drive. No one spoke for or against the property during the hearing, and the council proceeded into “Unanimous Consent” to vote on a resolution authorizing the abatement of the weeds. Resolution 2020-09 passed unanimously.
The council also passed Resolution 2020-10, declaring weeds to be a public nuisance at 6996 Mountain View Drive.
During mayor and council comments, Mayor Charles Webster deferred his time to Center Point Fire District Capt. Chris Horn, who wanted “just to let everybody know, the (COVID-19) virus is still there. … We are treating every patient like they have it. … Don’t put your guard down, please. It’s not over yet.”
Councilor Becky Johnson said that Clay Senior Center Director Beth Petty has been spending time working at the Clay Public Library, as well as calling and sending cards to the seniors.
“It’s probably going to be a while before things open up at our senior centers around the county,” Johnson said. “We’re just grateful that they’re able to work and stay with us.”
Dixon added that senior centers would most likely remain closed until a COVID-19 vaccine is available.
Councilor Dennis Locke said that local churches Faith Community Fellowship and Refuge are going to be doing a lot of work around the schools in the city, including cleaning up and painting.
“Whether they go back to school in August or not, they are going to have some beautiful grounds,” Locke said. “I think ‘Serve Day’ is July 11, so we’re going to try to take care of some things.”
Councilor Ben Thackerson said that disc golf will take place Friday and Sunday this week, beginning at 7:30 a.m.
The next meeting of the Clay City Council will be Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Pre-council will begin at 6 p.m. and the regular meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. The city will announce on the City of Clay website and Facebook page whether or not the meeting will take place at City Hall or digitally via Zoom.