By Crystal McGough
CLAY – The Clay City Council unanimously approved Proclamation 2021-01 at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12, recognizing January 2021 as Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
According to The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, nctsn.org, “January was first declared as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in 2010.”
City Manager Ronnie Dixon updated the council on the city’s preparations to host the first Alabama Open in pickleball.
“We have proceeded on with that and had a meeting this week with the director of the state pickleball association,” Dixon said. “We ordered some nets for the courts that are on the tennis courts so that they will be the championship-type nets and we’re moving forward with creating a festival feeling, I guess is the best way to put it. They were very excited about having the food court area, the carnival, of course the updated bathroom trailers instead of just porta potties.”
The dates for the pickleball tournament are March 26, 27 and 28.
Dixon said that the director is trying to figure out how many players can be accommodated over the three days on 12 courts, and at this time, he is expecting to be in the range of 400 participants.
“He estimated that there would be at least three people with each person, so we’re looking at a couple thousand people at any given time during the tournament,” Dixon said.
Additionally, the first Alabama High School Athletics Association Pickleball Championship game will be held on the Clay courts on March 25.
“This is the first year that they have put that together, so we don’t know how many high schools will participate, but that will be just the one day,” Dixon said.
The city received a Covid relief refund from the federal CARES Act in the amount of $467,000. Dixon said that money was put directly into the city’s reserve fund.
“The reason that I put that money there, that extra $450,000 (plus), is because we did receive our disbursement for the CARES Act and I don’t think anybody’s really 100% certain that some of that won’t be recalled because it goes through FEMA,” he said. “So since we pay as we go, I took that money and put it in reserve – they have a three year life span on when they can call it back – so we can just leave it sitting there. If we have to, it will be there to pay back; and if not, we’ll have that much more in reserve when we get to it.”
The next meeting of the Clay City Council will be Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. The meeting will be held virtually on Zoom and begin at 6 p.m.