By Crystal McGough
CLAY — Despite all of the unknowns with the Covid-19 pandemic and public school systems, the Clay City Council has continued with its long-standing tradition of awarding $500 grants to one teacher at each of the schools in the Clay community throughout this school year.
Clay City Councilor Dennis Locke announced this month’s school grant winners at the virtual city council meeting on Zoom, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021.
Clay Elementary School’s grant was awarded to Principal Jacqnaii Finkley to allocate the funds as needed.
The Bryant Elementary School grant was awarded to math teacher Natalie Davis, who will use the funds to purchase a printer, and additional ink and toner; Davis also plans to purchase hands-on learning tools for her classroom to help students visualize math problems and explore new strategies.
For Clay-Chalkville Middle School, the school grant winner was Physical Education teacher Carter Pharis. Pharis plans to purchase athletic equipment such as baseballs, softballs and tees.
Finally, the grant winner at Clay-Chalkville High School was Self-Contained Special Education teacher Julie Crouch, who plans to use the grant to purchase art supplies.
“Engaging students to work with paints stimulates children with special needs and helps them become more aware of their senses and emotional capacity for self-control,” Crouch said on her application for the grant. “When art is integrated into special education, children not only have fun exploring their creativity, they receive therapy as well.”
Jefferson County Board of Education President and Clay City Manager Ronnie Dixon informed the council that the schools in the Clay feeder pattern will reopen tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 27, after being closed Tuesday due to Monday night’s severe weather.
“That was just a one-day thing that I recommended to Dr. Gonsoulin last night because of that tree on Old Springville,” Dixon said. “I did not think they would get it moved during the night and didn’t want school buses having to detour through Paradise Valley and Somersby. So, that was a one-day deal based on school bus traffic.”
Mayor Charles Webster reminded the council and public that Wednesday is an e-learning day.
During the city manager’s report, Dixon gave the council the latest update on the Cosby Lake dredging project.
“We got our surveyor’s report back on Cosby,” Dixon said. “The estimated yardage to be moved was 42,000 cubic yards. The surveyor did his survey and said that they moved 37,000 cubic yards, so 5,000 less than what the estimate was, which makes sense because we know they didn’t get close to the bank and we know they didn’t bust up the concrete and get that part right in front of the house. So, that all looked good. Then we got the company that did the work, their dredge has a computer on it and the computer said that they did 52,000, which is 10,000 more. So, Volkert has asked for their data, and of course, we’ve got the surveyor’s data.”
The city is charging the dredging company for 16 days of overage at the cost of $950/day, Dixon said.
“They were actually over 32 days, then we split it because we allowed them to go home during the hurricane and also for voting,” he said. “So, there’s a $15,650 – I think it is – credit due to us. Now, the company is reviewing all of those documents.”
Dixon said that the dredging company and engineering consultant Volkert, Inc., will come to an agreement to present to Dixon, who will then present it to the council in the next few weeks.
“By the next meeting, we’ll know exactly where we stand,” Dixon said.
Following a public hearing at which no one spoke, the council unanimously passed Resolution 2021-01, condemning and authorizing the demolition of unsafe buildings and/or structures at 5874 Brenda Drive.
“The building inspector has investigated the property located at that address and has determined that the building is dangerous, unsanitary, unsafe, as described by (the city’s) Ordinance 2005-57,” Dixon said.
The council also passed the following resolutions under unanimous consent:
- Resolution 2021-02, authorizing the elimination of a nuisance upon private property (weeds) at 5300 Baggett Drive and 5732 Shadow Lake Road
- Resolution 2021-03, authorizing the elimination of a nuisance upon private property at 5376 Tyler Loop Road and 5758 Cherry Road
- Resolution 2021-04, declaring personal property to be a public nuisance at 5210 Roger Drive
The Clay City Council will meet again on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held virtually on Zoom.