Press Releases

Neighborhoods, Schools, and Public Safety: Councilors Say Those Are The Priorities for the 2016-2017 Budget

PRESS RELEASE                                                                           Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Contact: Brittany Sharp

Phone: 205-721-5369

brittany.sharp@birminghamal.gov

BIRMINGHAM, AL – In their response to proposals submitted by Mayor William A. Bell Sr., the Birmingham City Council is sticking to their pledge to fund those items as the priorities in the 2016-2017 budget.

“We have heard the message loud and clear from the citizens of Birmingham,” said Birmingham City Council President Johnathan F. Austin. “They want us to clean up our neighborhoods, strengthen our schools and secure our communities. And that is exactly what we are going to do. ”

The Council has proposed:

1.) $4.5 Million for Weed Abatement

2.) $4.5 Million for Demolition

3.) $2.7 Million for Schools

4.) $2 Million for Libraries

5.) $3.1 Million for Public Safety

The Council is also requesting goals in each area so they can measure how this money actually impacts communities.

“If we allocate four and a half million dollars for weed abatement, we need to know how many lots we are going to be able to cut,” President Austin said. “If we dedicate four and a half million dollars to demolition, we need to know how many of these abandoned, rundown houses and buildings we are going to tear down. This is not about micromanaging anyone; it is about accountability.  The people of this City elected us to these positions, and they deserve to know how we are spending their money and what we are actually getting done.”

While  President Austin celebrates the revival of downtown (much of which is in the council district that he represents), he does not believe the investment of City dollars has been very balanced.

“We are very excited that our downtown is flourishing, but the fact is that our neighborhoods are hurting,” President Austin said. “There are people in our communities who have lived in Birmingham all of their lives. They work very hard to keep their homes and yards beautiful. It is up to us make sure the City does its part in keeping our communities clean and safe. Every dollar we can find in the budget should be dedicated to doing exactly what we promised we would do.”

A link to the Council’s proposed budget recommendations can be found by clicking HERE.

A link to the Phase 2 Bond Projects can be found by clicking HERE.

For more information, please contact Birmingham City Council Director of Public Information Brittany Sharp at (205) 721-5369 or brittany.sharp@birminghamal.gov.