Category: Birmingham City Council
The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to appoint three new members – Willie Oliver, Abra Barnes and Scott Burnett – to the city’s Design Review Committee, glossing over concerns that the appointees had not been properly vetted by the council’s Planning and Zoning Committee.
It was the apparent end of a weeks-long, often confusing discussion that started Oct. 22, when the council initially approved appointments to all 11 seats of the DRC. Read more.
Birmingham Council Chips in on East Lake Grocery Revamp as Part of Battle Against Food Deserts
The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to approve a slate of economic incentives for one East Lake grocery store, continuing the Woodfin administration’s pledge to work toward eliminating food deserts in the city.
Village Market, located at 7737 Second Ave. S., will receive up to $865,000 in incentives from the city, which will allow for “substantial improvements” in the store, “to include upgrades in the refrigeration and point-of-sale equipment, painting, rebuilding the cash office, adding new storefront signage, installing new shelving units, gondolas, replacing the motor room and providing additional security,” according to the meeting’s agenda.
The city will pay the first $200,000 of those incentives up front out of the city’s Healthy Food Fund. That fund, specifically focused on providing incentives to grocery stores, was created by the council in May and was initially allocated $500,000; Village Market is the first store to receive money from the fund. Read more.
Plans to renovate the long-derelict Ramsay-McCormack Building in Ensley are underway. The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to approve a $4 million plan that could have the building revitalized and open by August 2021, developers say.
The council’s decision comes just one day before a lawsuit against the city over the building’s renovation is slated to once again go before a judge.
The 10-story office building, which was built in 1929, has been empty since 1986.
The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to appoint District 4 Councilor William Parker as its new president and District 7 Councilor Wardine Alexander as president pro tempore.
Parker takes over from District 3 Councilor Valerie Abbott, who had held the seat since October 2017.
The council’s vote was narrowly split between Parker and District 1 Councilor Clinton Woods, who had just been sworn into office after winning his first public election; he originally was appointed to the council in December.
Abbott and District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt both jockeyed for the decisive vote, repeatedly asking the city clerk to pass over them until everyone else had voted. Read more.
The Birmingham City Council today took a big step toward fulfilling the promise of Birmingham Promise by funding apprenticeships and scholarships for students of Birmingham city high schools.
By unanimous consent, council members authorized the mayor to execute a project agreement between the city and Birmingham Promise in which Birmingham Promise will administer a program to, among other things, increase postsecondary opportunities and economic prosperity of graduates of Birmingham schools.
The city will provide $10 million during the next five years – $2 million per year – subject to extension in accordance with the terms of the agreement. Students must be enrolled in city schools now in order to qualify for the apprenticeships.
One Birmingham City Council seat will be up for a runoff after none of the candidates won more than 50 percent of the votes in Tuesday’s balloting. See full results here.
Wardine Towers Alexander will face Ray Brooks on Nov. 19 in a runoff for the council District 7 seat. Alexander won 42.41% of the vote to challenger Ray Brooks’ 30.88%.
Two other races were decided Tuesday. Crystal Smitherman will return as council District 6 councilor, having garnered 51.50% of the vote in a seven-candidate field. In the District 1 race, Clifton Woods will return to the council, with 71.27% of the vote in his district.
The three propositions to renew separate ad valorem taxes all passed by wide margins, with those voting yes in each race amounting to about 90%.
Reporting of full results was delayed until Wednesday because of an error in the handling of electronic machine memory cards at three different precincts.
The cards from the Martha Gaskins School, Robinson Elementary School and Five Points West precincts were sealed inside boxes that contained the paper ballots filled out by voters. Officials with the Birmingham City Clerk’s office had to get a court order Wednesday morning to allow them to open the box and add those votes to the total. Read more.
Birmingham voters go to the polls Tuesday to elect council members in three districts. Turnout in the special election is expected to be low, but interest is high in District 6, an area that covers UAB, Titusville, and parts of west Birmingham.
That race has seven candidates — more than twice the number of the other contests. Residents say, there’s lots of work ahead for whoever wins the seat. Among the main issues, residents say, are eliminating blight and bringing quality retail shops and grocery stores to the area. Read more.