By Crystal McGough
The Clay City Council held its regular council meeting virtually via Zoom on Tuesday night, Aug. 11, 2020, at 6 p.m. During the meeting, City Manager Ronnie Dixon gave the council an update on the city’s finances, particularly regarding the city’s reserve funds.
Dixon told the council that he moved an additional $200,000 into the city’s reserve fund, bringing it to a total of $1.3 million.
“We’re doing extremely well, considering the Covid outbreak that so many cities are losing anywhere from 15-20% of income,” Dixon said. “Publix and the Pig (Piggly Wiggly) – the Pig is getting all central Alabama, I think, driving to the Pig to buy groceries because of their customer service. It’s all over every social media site there is about how nice the people are at the Pig. So, the city is benefitting from that on our sales tax, so that allowed us to move $200,000 over and still have $694,000 in our general funds.”
Following the city manager’s report, the council held a public hearing to discuss moving forward with weed abatement on the following properties:
5169 Cimmaron Circle
5410 Balboa Circle
5904 Elizabeth Drive
6870 Pannell Road
6892 Pannell Road
No one attended the hearing on Zoom to speak for or against the properties, so the council moved into “Unanimous Consent” to vote on a resolution concerning the abatements.
Resolution 2020-20, authorizing the elimination of the nuisances on the properties, passed unanimously, with one alteration: the council voted to give the owners of the property at 5169 Cimmaron Circle a one-week extension, since they have already begun the process of cleaning up their property.
“They cut 6 or 8 feet from the curb and then left all the rest of it,” Dixon said of 5169 Cimmaron Circle. “We normally don’t consider that to be completed. We expect their lot to be cleaned.”
Dixon showed the council members a photo of the property and said he wanted to make sure they had an understanding that the owners had cut a little bit, but it was not enough to comply with the city’s ordinance.
Councilor Dennis Locke added that the property was a developed lot that was hit by a tornado a few years ago, after which the house was torn down. He said that normally, on an undeveloped lot, simply cutting the weeds back from the right-of-way would be allowed, but because there are still residential houses around that lot, the job needs to be finished.
“Since they made an effort to cut that back, will they have an opportunity to cut the rest of it?” Locke asked. “Since they made an effort, they just maybe didn’t realize. I do want to be sensitive, certainly by the next meeting, that it needs to be done.”
Dixon said that the city could contact the owners and give them a heads up that the job still needs to be completed.
“I think we need to do that,” Councilor Ben Thackerson said.
While the resolution concerning the other properties passed, the same resolution concerning 5169 Cimmaron Circle will be readdressed in a week at the next city council meeting.
The council also unanimously passed Resolution 2020-21, adopting the city’s annual transportation plan in accordance with Rebuild Alabama.
According to Dixon, the city is required to submit a transportation plan to the state, which for the city of Clay, is the resurfacing project for the city’s roads.
“You have to file annually so that they will continue to collect that soon-to-be 10 cent tax,” Dixon said.
The next meeting of the Clay City Council will be Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, at 6 p.m. The meeting will take place virtually on Zoom.