Category: Birmingham City Council

Birmingham Council Reallocates Unused CrossPlex Funds to Repave Roads, Under Protest

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to reallocate money from a completed capital project at the Birmingham CrossPlex to citywide road repaving, rebuffing the protests of District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt, who called the proposal “unfair.”

The $468,532.78 in question was left over from the construction of detention ponds, fountains, a walking trail and fencing at the CrossPlex; that money will be added to a $6.7 million repaving project the council approved in December. Last week, city engineer Mike Eddington told the council that the project was completed two years ago, and the money has sat untouched in that project’s fund since then.

Hoyt attempted to delay a vote on the reallocation by several weeks, arguing that funding should not be taken away from the still-developing CrossPlex. “Ain’t nothing complete out there, and you all know that,” he said. Read more.

Mural Disagreement Delays Grant to Five Points West

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt clashed Tuesday over a proposed grant that would fund five new murals in Five Points West, in addition to several other programs,

The argument resulted in a two-week delay and threats from Woodfin to scuttle the grant entirely.

The grant, part of Woodfin’s Bold — Building Opportunities for Lasting Development — program, would give the Five Points West/Crossplex Business Alliance $26,500 to provide a variety of services, including training, talent and recruitment programs for local businesses, a new business office for meetings and training to be developed in tandem with Main Street Alabama, façade and signage improvements for small businesses and the collection of data “regarding all businesses and commercial properties in the Five Points West Commercial Corridor.”

But Hoyt, who had called for the item to be delayed when it appeared before the council last month, took issue with one clause in the proposed grant requiring the business alliance to develop five murals in the Five Points West business district. Read more.

Birmingham and UAB Partner to Offer Free Tuition to City Graduates

The University of Alabama at Birmingham will offer full tuition scholarships to some graduates of Birmingham City Schools as part of a new partnership with the City of Birmingham.

The city and UAB announced the scholarship program Thursday morning at a press conference.

“It makes a down payment on our city’s economic competitiveness,” Mayor Randall Woodfin says.

The Birmingham Promise Scholarship is part of a city initiative that plans to offer graduates of Birmingham schools full tuition to all in-state public universities and colleges. UAB is the first academic partner to support the Birmingham Promise with a scholarship. UAB estimates it’ll contribute $250,000 the first year, according to a spokesperson for the city. The Birmingham Promise Incorporated does not yet have an estimate on how much it’ll contribute. Read more.

Birmingham City Council Delays Vote on Five Points West/CrossPlex Grant

The Birmingham City Council on Monday delayed voting on an item granting funding to the Five Points West/CrossPlex Business Alliance under the city’s Building Opportunities for Lasting Development (BOLD) initiative.

The grant, proposed by Mayor Randall Woodfin’s office, would give the Five Points West/CrossPlex Business Alliance $26,500 to use for a variety of initiatives, including the creation of five new murals, the development of a training and resource program for the area’s business community, the establishment of a business office for the alliance, and the collection of data regarding businesses and commercial properties in the Five Points West commercial corridor.
Read more.

Birmingham City Council Settles Suit With One Self-Storage Developer, Extends Moratorium

The council voted unanimously to extend the city’s moratorium on new self-storage developments by 90 days. But it also voted to settle a lawsuit from one developer, paying out up to $125,000 and allowing construction on a self-storage facility near Vulcan Park to continue. Read more.

Five Points South Wins Entertainment District Designation

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to name Five Points South an “entertainment district,” making it one of only three areas in the city where it’s legal to drink alcohol in public.

The effort was spearheaded by the Five Points Alliance, a consortium of neighborhood business owners and residents. John Boone, the alliance’s vice president, told the council that the ordinance would help the alliance with planning large community events, such as the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and Taste of Five Points food festival. Read more.

Birmingham Spreading Word Against Human Trafficking Ahead of World Games

When the World Games comes to Birmingham in 2021, it’s projected to bring with it $256 million in economic impact, thanks to an estimated influx of 100,000 athletes and sports fans. But at Tuesday’s meeting of the Birmingham City Council, officials said they were working to prevent a potential unintended consequence of that influx: an uptick in human trafficking.

The council voted Tuesday to pass a resolution calling for a communitywide awareness campaign against human trafficking. The measure, spearheaded by District 6 Councilor Crystal Smitherman and Mayor Randall Woodfin, calls for “comprehensive education of (city) staff and the implementation and enforcement of a zero-tolerance policy of any act that may support human trafficking.” Read more.

New Birmingham Bold Funding Approved for Economic Development Projects, From Help for Small Businesses to Job Training for Single Mothers

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to approve $680,949.46 in program funding for seven local organizations as part of Mayor Randall Woodfin’s Building Opportunities for Lasting Development initiative.

Adah International, the Birmingham Business Alliance, the Birmingham Business Resource Center, Jefferson State Community College, REV Birmingham, the Salvation Army, and the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham were the beneficiaries in Bold’s second year, following approval of the program’s “inaugural class” last November.

Several of the projects will help small businesses, with a focus on women-owned, minority-owned and disadvantaged businesses, while others will support underprivileged mothers and children and help residents improve their work skills. Read more.

Birmingham City Council Approves Deal for AHSAA Football Championship Games, Will Consider Naming Five Points South an Entertainment District

During its brief Nov. 26 meeting, the Birmingham City Council turned its eye to the future of the city’s entertainment industry, approving a contract to host state high school football championships at the in-development Protective Stadium and setting a public hearing to designate one area of the city an entertainment district.

The council voted to approve an agreement with the Alabama High School Athletic Association to host its football championships at the city’s under-construction Protective Stadium in 2021, 2024, 2027 and 2030. The $175 million stadium, which will seat roughly 45,000 people, started construction last December.

As part of the agreement, the city will provide up to $125,000 in economic incentives to the AHSAA; in turn, the resolution states, the championship games will generate an estimated $10,000,000 in economic impact for the city. Read more.