Category: Birmingham City Council
Birmingham has placed a May 15 deadline on its mask and public safety ordinances, bringing them in line with Gov. Kay Ivey’s safer-at-home order.
The face mask order — which requires Birmingham residents to cover their faces in public to slow the spread of COVID-19 — was originally passed by the City Council on April 28, but with no expiration date; that omission led District 2 Councilor Hunter Williams to vote against the bill. The council extended the deadline to May 15 a meeting today.
Birmingham residents will be legally required to wear face masks in public starting May 1. The Birmingham City Council passed that legislation, sponsored by Mayor Randall Woodfin, on Tuesday; it’s the latest in a series of orders designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read more.
Ensley’s long-abandoned Ramsay-McCormack building will be demolished and replaced by a four-story, multi-use building, Mayor Randall Woodfin told the Birmingham City Council on Wednesday.
An assessment by commercial construction firm Stewart/Perry revealed numerous structural problems in the 10-story, city-owned office building, which has been vacant since 1986.
Birmingham’s shelter-in-place order has been extended through April 30.
The extension, approved unanimously by the Birmingham City Council on Friday, is intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the city by effectively instituting a citywide curfew, with exceptions for “essential” activities such as purchasing food, seeking health care or engaging in solitary outdoor recreation. Read more.
The Birmingham City Council on Wednesday approved spending $1 million from its General Fund on a small business loan program designed to help small businesses struggling with the impact of COVID-19. The money is in addition to $200,000 put in the program fund Tuesday from the city’s innovation and economic opportunity fund. Read more.
A “shelter in place” ordinance is now in effect in Birmingham. The order, passed by the City Council Tuesday evening, is intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by effectively instituting a curfew on all residents — with numerous exceptions.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said the ordinance was intended to address those who were not in compliance with the city’s previous recommendations. “A lot of people are treating this as a vacation,” he said. “This is not a vacation. … We need to now pivot from recommendation to full enforcement if the ultimate goal is to save lives.”
There are numerous exceptions outlined in the ordinance — notably for people seeking “essential services or commodities;” public safety officials and first responders; utility, cable, and telecommunications companies; federal, state, county or city government employees; and the homeless. Read more.
The Birmingham City Council has approved the first part of funding for a small business loan program designed to help small businesses struggling with the impact of COVID-19. The program, which was approved in concept last week, would provide eligible small businesses with up to $25,000 in interest-free, 180-day loans. Read more.
The Birmingham City Council will vote next Tuesday on an ordinance that would provide emergency loans to certain small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic — but the program will need additional votes next week to take effect.
The loan program would allocate nearly $1.2 million to revenue-generating small businesses affected by the novel coronavirus; individual businesses would be eligible for up to $25,000 in loans, with an anticipated average of $10,000 per business. The funding would come largely from the city’s general fund, which would contribute $1 million; the remaining $200,000 would be provided by the city’s Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity.
“Part of what we have to do is bridge small businesses into a new economic environment in what is really a turbulent time,” Dr. Josh Carpenter, the city’s director of innovation and opportunity, told the council Tuesday morning. Read more.
The Birmingham City Council quietly restructured its committee system Tuesday, voting without discussion to institute several leadership changes and to split the Administration and Education Committee in two.
The changes were spearheaded by William Parker, who took over as council president in October. Parker added the new lineup to Tuesday’s meeting agenda as a last-minute addendum, handing out paper copies of the assignments just before the vote was called. “Just make sure we pass that,” he said to the council. Councilors appeared to be studying the list intently up until the moment of the vote. Read more.
The city of Birmingham will continue the practice of spraying for mosquitoes, despite vehement objection from two city councilors.
Questions have been raised about the effectiveness of spraying, as well as possible dangers to people and the environment from the chemicals. Read more.