By Crystal McGough
Clay city manager Ronnie Dixon announced at Tuesday night’s city council meeting that an Everbridge Network for the city of Clay would be going live as of that day, Sept. 8, 2020.
Everbridge Network is a mass communications service being provided as a tool to municipalities within Jefferson County by the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency.
“That was something that the mayor asked me about last week, to make sure we got set up,” Dixon said. “It will be another means of communication between the administration and the citizens. Everyone is allowed to join that. It will work in conjunction with the fire department; they’ll be able to send messages, as well as the sheriff’s office.”
Anyone wanting to get notifications from the city of Clay via the Everbridge Network can text ClayAl to the number 888-777.
“You’ll get a reply that says you have been joined to the Everbridge Network,” Dixon said. “Then it will ask you if, besides text messages, if you want to receive emails. It will ask you to put your email in and text that back as a reply.”
Notifications that citizens can expect to receive from the city through the Everbridge Network could range from emergency notifications to information on city events.
“Anything happening, we can announce it,” Mayor Charles Webster said. “The Everbridge thing, I think, is going to be good for us. It will be a good avenue to communicate to everybody. Hopefully we can start using that pretty regular.”
Dixon also said that the council received a proposed budget for city’s next fiscal year. The council will have two weeks to look over the budget and make any changes before voting on it at the next council meeting.
“Like I told you before, we really can’t do anything other than guess because of Covid and what we think will happen based on what other cities are doing,” Dixon said. “I mentioned to you before, Birmingham laid off 300 public works and park employees, and then they’re taking an 11% cut across the board.
“We didn’t go that far. We reduced our budget about $200,000. We did include the 5.5% increase in health insurance for employees. So, as we normally do, you (the council) can study that for a couple of weeks and then, as you please, you’ll be able to make that motion to proceed with that budget or, anytime in the next two weeks, any changes that you need or want to see made, or if you wanted to ask me any questions, you can do that over the next couple weeks.”
Center Point Fire Chief Gene Coleman said that there will be a couple of upcoming fundraisers in support of the family of Captain Kyle Dodd, who unexpectedly passed away in July. The first fundraiser will be a softball tournament in Oneonta, on Sept. 19, in memory of Dodd. Then, on Sept. 26, there will be a Jeep ride, which will begin in Oneonta and pass through Pinson and Clay, stopping at the Harley-Davidson store in Trussville. From there, the Jeep ride will proceed back to Oneonta via Highway 11 and Highway 174.
“They will make, hopefully, a momentary stop at Station 5, as well,” Coleman said.
Dixon told the council that he had a meeting with the Central Alabama Baseball Association (CABA) concerning tournaments being hosted at the Clay ballpark.
“They are interested in hosting three tournaments this fall, and then two or three in the spring, as well as helping us promote our little league and bringing in more participants there,” Dixon said. “That’s probably the biggest organization in central Alabama, so I think that’s going to work out to be a good partnership.”
The next meeting of the Clay City Council will be Sept. 22, 2020, at Clay City Hall, with pre-council beginning at 6 p.m. and the regular meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m.
“I don’t think we will have any issues keeping everybody with the social distancing and that kind of stuff,” Webster said. “I’d like to get back to live meetings as soon as we can. I just like it better. So unless something drastic happens, we’ll plan on a live meeting on the 22nd. Hopefully everybody will be safe until then.”