By Nathan Prewett
MOODY — On Monday, Aug. 23, the Moody City Council passed several resolutions related to COVID-19 vaccines and actions to respond to the COVID-19 virus supported by funds from the American Rescue Plan.
Council members Matt Morris and Lynn Taylor were absent as one was ill with stomach flu, and another was on vacation.
The meeting began with the council recognizing the Moody Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors. These were eight students from Moody High School who work with the Moody Chamber of Commerce on local events such as Oktoberfest and other community outings.
The council also recognized three Girl Scout members who were present at the meeting. Councilor Linda Crowe presented all who were recognized with a city pin.
Afterward, the council passed multiple resolutions before eventually coming to pass several resolutions related to dealing with the COVID-19 virus.
The first was a resolution to authorize City Attorney James Hill to seek the opinion of Attorney General Steve Marshall on issues about vaccination guidelines. Hill explained that Marshall recently issued guidance that “created questions” about the program as other cities pass vaccine incentive resolutions.
The council then passed a resolution that authorized vaccine incentives that would be subject to the supporting opinion of the Attorney General with funds being used from the American Rescue Plan. This action was opposed by Crowe.
“I just don’t agree with paying somebody to take a shot, which I think they should take anyway,” she said after the meeting. “I’m not against the shot, I just don’t like offering money. I think it should be your duty, not us giving money to do it.”
Despite this, Crowe supported the other resolutions with one being to authorize premium pay from the American Rescue Plan for essential municipal workers.
“What’s important is to know that the American Rescue Plan specifically authorizes premium pay for employees who have not yet been adequately compensated during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hill said. “That is specifically essential workers, which would be those workers in our first response system, those workers that regularly deal with the public and/or handle items that are covered items in local government.”
The final resolution passed was one to authorize grant allocation from the American Rescue Plan to support Moody’s four schools in the amount of up to $50,000 to be used to mitigate and try to prevent the effects of the COVID situation.
Hill explained that the allocated funds will be set aside to be used at a school’s request.
The resolution also authorizes up to $10,000 for the St. Clair County Virtual Preparatory Academy. Cassandra Taylor from the academy was present at the meeting along with Assistant Principal of Moody Junior High Joni Johnson, Moody Elementary Principal Lance Cisco, Moody High School Assistant Principal Demetrius Scott, and Moody High School Principal Chris Walter.
“This money is going to be put to great use for use,” Cisco said. “We’ve already got lots of ideas and creative ways that we can use it.”
Councilor Nick Rutledge emotionally expressed his thanks to the principals, saying that he has a child that is currently in the school system.
“I want to thank y’all from the bottom of my heart as a parent – not as a council member – as a parent for what y’all have done for our kids in the last two years,” he said.
Additionally, the council voted unanimously to maintain its existing government following the findings of the recent census. It was announced that Moody’s population is now more than 13,000 citizens, which prompted the resolution as required by law when a city exceeds 12,000 people. Hill said that this makes Moody the largest municipality in the county.
In other business, the council:
- Approved a request from Fire Chief Horton to the monitoring of fire pumps for $550,
- Approved Horton’s request to purchase Akron intake valves for Truck 4,
- Approved a request from Police Chief Thomas Hunt to purchase two front tires and alignment for car 357,
- Approved Horton’s request for a yearly payment to Virtual Academy of $630,
- Approved Horton’s request to purchase Citizen Police Academy shirts for $480,
- Approved Horton’s request to purchase a Microsoft Surface Pro for $650,
- Approved Horton’s request to renew the yearly SRO officer job post for another year to run through August 2022,
- Approved a request from Crowe to donate $500 to the high school for the inaugural season of the girls’ flag football team,
- Approved Crowe’s request to donate $500 for the varsity soccer team at the high school,
- Approved a request from Mayor Joe Lee to authorize the 2021-2022 contract with St. Clair County Commission for central dispatching,
- Approved Lee’s request for the yearly payment of $3,250 to the St. Clair County Commission for the Emergency Management Agency,
- Adopted the city’s 2022 transportation plan pursuant to the Rebuild Alabama Act,
- Approved the City of Moody Holiday Resolution for 2021-2022, and
- Authorized a payment to the Moody Chamber of Commerce of $3,000 for Oktoberfest expenses.
Meetings are held on the second and fourth Monday of every month at 6 p.m. at Moody City Hall on 670 Park Ave.