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Birmingham City Councilors Push to Create Jobs by Approving a Public Hearing for the Kamtek Expansion and the Old West End Library Renovation

Working to create diverse job opportunities has been a top project for Birmingham City Councilors. As Councilors continue their efforts to help bring in more jobs to the Magic City, they recently approved a resolution setting a public hearing for July 12, 2016, to consider the adoption of a resolution assenting to the vacation of approximately 9.66 acres of Sterilite Drive between Pawnee Avenue and the Kamtek property line, on behalf of KAMTEK INC., the City of Birmingham, Alabama and KT&C, LTD., so that Kamtek can enlarge and expand their existing production site. KAMTEK, a division of Magna International, Inc., announced a plan over the last few months to expand its operations in the city, with a new $80 million dollar manufacturing facility that KAMTEK projects will create over 354 new jobs between now and the year 2019.

The vacation of right-of-way is regulated by the Code of the State of Alabama (23-4-20, Code of Alabama, 1975) and certain procedures must be followed. According to the State of Alabama (11- 49-6, Code of Alabama, 1975) a public hearing is required and must be held to determine the price for payment of area, should the vacation be approved. Requests to vacate streets or alleys are heard by the Subdivision Committee of the Birmingham Planning Commission. The committee makes recommendation to the Council and the Council then holds a public hearing and votes on the request; vacations cannot be placed on the consent agenda. Public hearings are required when businesses seek to acquire additional land.

In addition to the public hearing for Kamtek’s expansion, a public hearing will also be held to renovate the Old West Library into a thriving business with a number of jobs. Tuesday, the Council approved an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to execute a Project Redevelopment Agreement with 5 Points West Developers, LLC where the City will renovate property its own property located at 4626 Avenue V, which is the former Five Points West Library for $25,000.00 and redevelop the property for use as professional office space. In an attempt to alleviate blight, this building will now become a development property that can be repurposed to support economic development and increased employment opportunities. The redevelopment property is in need of renovations and upon completion will be able serve as a mixed-use office space for up to three tenants. The estimated redevelopment cost is $565,000.00 yielding an anticipated total of 42 jobs and projected gross payroll in the amount of $1,450,000.00 in the first full year after the project is completed.

More and more jobs are coming to Birmingham proving that Birmingham is indeed a city with a new mindset, geared towards creating a world-class city!

This article is a contribution from Chiara Perry (chiara.perry@birminghamal.gov) in the Birmingham City Council Public Information Office. For more information please contact 205.254.2294.