Press Releases

The Birmingham City Council Passes Budget Focusing on Neighborhoods, Education, and Public Safety

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                         Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Contact: Brittany Sharp

Phone: 205-721-5369

brittany.sharp@birminghamal.gov

BIRMINGHAM, AL – Residents in Birmingham can expect to see immediate and major changes in their neighborhoods and in local schools, as the Birmingham City Council and Mayor William Bell agreed on a budget that puts more focus than ever before on cleaning up communities and educating students.

“We know what the challenges are,” said Johnathan F. Austin, President of the Council. “We must cut vacant lots, tear down dangerous, dilapidated buildings and invest every dollar we can find into our children. That is the formula for making our communities stronger and for making Birmingham’s future brighter.”

After receiving the Mayor’s budget proposal back in May, the Council held budget tours across the city of Birmingham to listen directly to resident recommendations.

“What we heard was that our neighborhoods felt like downtown Birmingham was getting all of the attention and all of the tax dollars while communities were being neglected,” Austin said. “Since talking directly with our residents, we have used the phrase ‘every neighborhood, every citizen, every dollar, every day’ to make sure that everyone in City Hall understood that this Council would fight to put our residents first.

“And, we thank Mayor Bell for joining with us to make neighborhoods and schools the City’s priority.”

The budget will go into effect immediately and includes the following funding to address the city’s most pressing needs:

FY 2017 Operating Budget Highlights

· Cost of Living increase of 1% for City Employees

· Weed Abatement increase from $750,000 to $1,840,000

· Demolition increase from $750,000 to $1,840,000

· Funding for the Board of Education – After School Program $665,000

· Funding for the City of Birmingham/Birmingham Library System Reading Initiative $1,000,000

· Increased the operating budget for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute from $775,000 to $1,000,000

· Assist the Municipal Court with an increase for its Indigent Defense Fund from $200,000 to $275,00

· A $600,00 investment into various economic development & social service agencies.

FY 2017 Capital Budget Highlights

· $19,000,000 in City Wide Resurfacing Projects

· $750,000 in Community Safe Rooms

· $600,000 for East Police Precinct Renovations

· $4.3M for the Carver Theater/Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame

· $3M for the Kingston Fire Station

· $1.65M in Capital Improvements to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

· $5.9M in Fire Department Trucks & Vehicles

· $2.0M in Police Department Vehicles

· $2.5M in Public Works Trucks

A link to the 2016 -2017 can be found by clicking HERE

“This is what happens when both sides come together to remember who matters the most and that’s the citizens of Birmingham,” Council President Pro Tem Steven W. Hoyt said. “Our residents are counting on us to make the best decisions with the precious tax dollars they entrust us to manage. Even though this was not easy, we can be proud of our residents for raising their voices and making sure they were a part of the process.

“This budget shows that we heard the people who elected us, and they will get what they deserve: cleaner, safer communities for our families and stronger schools for our children. We stand committed to neighborhood revitalization and Economic Development.”

For media inquiries please contact the Birmingham City Council Public Information Director Brittany Sharp at 205.721.5369 or brittany.sharp@birminghamal.gov.