By Nathan Prewett
LEEDS — The Leeds City Council authorized a one-time hazard pay for city employees and made appointments to the Redevelopment Authority and the historic commission during a brief meeting online on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.
According to the City of Leeds website, meetings for the council are being held virtually based on guidelines from the “State and local EMA, the Jefferson County Health Department and UAB” who have discouraged in-person meetings as the virus situation remains.
The meeting was recorded and can be heard on YouTube.
The agenda listed three items, the first of which included appointing the heads of the Leeds Redevelopment Authority and the Historic Preservation Commission. Larry King was appointed to the redevelopment authority and Leeds Jane Culbreth Library Director Melanie Carden was reappointed to the commission.
Afterward, the council authorized a one-time hazard pay of $250 for city employees. The payment was made as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to affect communities everywhere.
A number of people in Leeds, as well as in the city government, have contracted the virus, including Leeds Police Chief Jim Atkinson, who Councilman Eric Turner said has been improving in health.
Another city employee was infected in October which prompted the members of the city council to be tested. Turner said that the council members all tested negative. He commented that the council hopes that the payment will provide some relief for employees.
“We just hope that any little thing that we can help them out in these tough times,” he said. “I wish we could do more right now but we wanted to do that to help some and we did a one-time payment of $250.”
Turner added that the date for the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the Buc-ee’s location is still slated for Monday, Jan. 25. A time for the opening has not been set yet.
The last item was the payables and expenditures for the city, which passed unanimously. No one spoke during the public comments portion.
A Jan. 18 meeting of the council will not take place as it will be Martin Luther King Jr. Day.