By Melanie Patterson
North Jefferson News
Gardendale is taking further steps toward starting its own school system.
On Monday, the Gardendale City Council approved application forms for the future city school system. The applications are available at Gardendale City Hall and will be accepted by the city clerk until Jan. 15.
All applicants must attend an orientation on Jan. 7 at the Gardendale Civic Center.
City Council members will select 10 candidates to attend training. They will then choose five applicants for the school board, based on their qualifications and how they interact with the others, according to city council members. The additional five members will be named to an advisory board.
Also on Monday, the council hired Bradley Arant Boult and Cummings for legal services pertaining to the formation of a future Gardendale Board of Education and its separation from the Jefferson County Board of Education. The city will pay Donald B. Sweeney Jr. $300 an hour and Alan K. Zeigler $395 an hour, plus expenses, to be billed to the city quarterly.
In other business, the council:
• established the levy of an additional 5-mill ad valorem tax on all property in the city for public school purposes, as approved by voters in November
• annexed a portion of 4611 Shady Grove Road, which is subject to six years of fire dues being paid to the Mt. Olive Fire District
• set an hourly rate of $9.75 for all Parks and Recreation, Public Works and Gardendale Civic Center part-time unskilled workers
• adopted a resolution to exempt certain items from municipal sales tax for the Severe Weather Preparedness sales tax holiday Feb. 21-23. The list includes batteries, tarps, plastic sheeting, ice packs, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and much more. Get a complete list at city hall.
• announced a coat and blanket drive at the Gardendale Civic Center Exhibition Hall on Dec. 14. Items will be donated to the Jimmie Hale Mission