By Crystal McGough
Clay City Manager Ronnie Dixon gave an update during the pre-council meeting of the Clay City Council Tuesday night, Sept. 22, concerning the Cosby Lake dredging project. The project was originally proposed to be completed in October, but the employees working on the project suffered home damage from the hurricane, causing a temporary delay in the project.
“Y’all all know that Hurricane Sally came through and did major damage to south Alabama,” Dixon said. “All six of the guys working in Cosby have major home damage. The owner of the company is still without power as of today. And the guy that runs the dredge, he’s got a tree through the middle of his house that they were not able to get out until today.
“If you notice, the boats are tied to the bank, or either up on their trailer, and they’re going to be that way through at least next Wednesday. We, of course, won’t let the ball drop on the dredging, but I thought it was only fair that we let those guys get their homes secured.”
Dixon said that the team has committed to finishing the project before the Christmas holidays, despite the delay.
“I told them we would not impose the fine for missing the deadline,” Dixon said. “That’s just, if nothing else, it’s just being a good human being, just to let them go take care of their families.”
Councilor Dennis Locke announced this month’s $500 school grant winners. They are as follows:
- Clay Elementary School: Rebekah Ferguson, 2nd grade teacher, will use the funds to purchase virtual learning manipulatives and resources.
- Bryant Elementary School: Kristi Grimes, 2nd and 3rd grade exceptional education teacher, will use the funds to purchase a variety of hands-on, tactile learning tools.
- CCMS: Mrs. Jordan Tyler, 8th grade English Language Arts teacher, will use the funds to purchase a class set of the novel Hidden Figures (Young Readers edition), as well as the DVD. Any remaining funds will go toward purchasing additional items for her classroom.
- CCHS: Amanda Daniel, Health Science (Patient Care Tech) teacher, will use the funds to purchase student study modules through the National Healthcare Association. Students in her class will have the opportunity to take a national certification exam to become certified as patient care technicians.
“Congratulations to all of our teachers,” Locke said.
Mayor Charles Webster added that he received several “thank you” notes from the schools.
“They really do appreciate what the city does for them,” Webster said. “It does not go unnoticed at the schools that we do help them a lot. … Those four principals work better together than any that I’ve ever seen. We’ve got a very good group of principals. … I think we’ve got our schools probably in the best shape they been since they’ve been in existence as far as administrators go.”
The council discussed and agreed to move forward with the city’s annual Veteran’s Day luncheon on November 11, 2020, at the Clay Community Center. Invitations will go out soon.
“On that particular one, because we will have so many elderly involved, I’m going to recommend that we do have temperature checks at the door,” Dixon said. “It’s kind of fun being the only game in town. When I call and say, ‘Hey, we’re doing Veteran’s Day,’ they just bend over backwards.”
Dixon also announced that the annual city of Clay Christmas tree lighting will be Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. The date for the Christmas parade is still to be determined.
The council held a public hearing concerning the annexation of 5787 Cheryl Drive (A-2020-01) and the rezoning of 6901 Pannell Road (Z-2020-01).
“Mayor, (6901 Pannell Road) is the one that I mentioned before, where we have some real problems,” Dixon said. “There was a house on two acres of land prior to the tornado in 2012. The owner of the house got insurance money, didn’t repair the house and subsequently sold it to a flipper. The flipper subdivided the land on paper only; he never petitioned the P&Z, nor the council, and started to build a second house on the same property. … It’s been under a stop work order since probably Christmas of last year.”
Dixon said that he has spoken to attorneys and the plaintiff, and that there are a lot of issues surrounding this property. The council did not need to take any immediate action, but the issue will go before Planning & Zoning again before coming back to the council for a vote.
Following the hearing, the council passed the following ordinances and resolutions:
Ordinance 2020-07, an ordinance to annex 5787 Cheryl Drive into the city of Clay
Ordinance 2020-08, amending the city’s zoning ordinance (2018-01) to update regulations and terminology regarding building materials.
Resolution 2020-06, declaring weeds to be a public nuisance at 8054, 8073 and 8074 Lizmore Lane, and 769 Chestnut Drive.
Webster and Dixon reminded the public that the city is now using the Everbridge system to provide mass communication with citizens in the city. To receive text and email notifications from city hall, citizens can text “ClayAl” to 888-777.
The next meeting of the Clay City Council will be Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, at Clay City Hall. Pre-council begins at 6 p.m. and the regular council meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.