By Terry Schrimscher, For the Tribune
IRONDALE – The Irondale City Council met Tuesday night, Sept. 5, for the first regular meeting of the month. The Council had a full agenda including several recognitions from Mayor James D. Stewart Jr. who, after missing both August meetings, returned to his tradition of recognizing local achievements in his report to the city.
Stewart welcomed a large group from Kirkwood by the River who attended the first part of the meeting in support of Homer McGough, who was being awarded a proclamation from the mayor. McGough is a resident of the retirement community.
“Last month, I had an opportunity to go to Kirkwood by the River,” Stewart said. “This year, I had a chance to meet a new friend as I was getting ready to leave. Mr. McGough is 105 years old.”
Stewart presented McGough with a proclamation for being one of Irondale’s oldest citizens. McGough was born Feb. 26, 1918.
McGough spoke a few words thanking the crowd in attendance and was joined in song by his friends from Kirkwood with a verse of the hymn, “In The Garden.”
Stewart also invited musician Kim Scott to perform jazz flute for the crowd in attendance. Scott has reached #1 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz charts with three different singles and her 2022 single, “Shine” was the Billboard Song of the Year.
Scott served as chair of the music department at the Alabama School of Fine Arts for 14 years. She will be performing at the Irondale Music Festival on Sept. 23, 2023.
Mayor Stewart also took a moment to introduce Marsha Kelley-Sutton as the Interim Executive Director of the Irondale Senior Activity Center. The center has been temporarily closed since Aug. 15, 2023, and reopened under her direction on Sept. 5, 2023.
In the department reports, Lt. David Brasher filled in for Chief Josh McDaniel. Brasher presented the Citizen Heroism Award to Adam Goodman and the Citizen Lifesaving Award to Brandon Coleman. Both men were instrumental in saving the life of another citizen they spotted preparing to jump from an overpass onto I-20.
Brasher also presented a letter of commendation to Firefighter Paramedics Jackson Pardue, Jeremy Weems and Brandon Garner. The three first responders were on their way to a fire college class and assisted Goodman and Coleman in mitigating the situation with the potential suicidal jumper.
Councilmember Cindy Cuellar gave an update on funding for the entrance to the Karl Daly community and the expansion of the Cahaba River Trail. Jefferson County Commissioner Joe Knight, along with members of the Council, assisted with funding for the projects and spoke briefly to the crowd.
The Council approved four items of new business during the meeting.
- A contract with Gonzalez-Strength & Associates, Inc., not to exceed $49,500, for landscaping and graphics along the I-459 exit at Grants Mill Road.
- A $2 increase in garbage collection rates.
- A one-time bonus for city retirees approved by Act 2023-107 of the Alabama Legislature.
- An amendment to city code standardizing rates paid for water beyond the first 1,500 gallons of water used.
The Council also approved an item of old business, hiring Sheppard Harris & Associates to do accounting work to exceed $40,000. Stewart noted the monthly work would help the city reduce time and costs associated with annual audits.
Stewart announced the receipt of a check for the city’s recycling efforts from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management in the amount of $283,698. He said the city would buy a new truck, 1,000 new cans for recycling and spend $20,000 on education efforts.
The Council also approved 17 items on a consent agenda including the use of discretionary funds to support various programs in local schools. Additionally, the Council approved:
- $10,000 retention stipends for Dr. Loni Hodge, Principal at Grantswood Community Schooland Mr. Taki Sarhaan, Principal at Shades Valley High School.
- Accepted a bid from RCI & Associates for the Ellard Park Dog Park Project in an amount not to exceed $851,650.
- Accepted a bid from J.D. Morris Construction in the amount of $660,192.16 for the Transportation Alternatives Program sidewalk project.
The next meeting of the Irondale City Council will be held at 6 p.m. on Sept. 19, at Irondale City Hall.