Category: City of Birmingham

Birmingham Kicks Off New Garbage Pickup Plan

Birmingham has begun to deliver garbage carts to city residents in the first phase of its plans to change garbage pickup in the city.

The Department of Public Works will deliver about 20,000, free, 96-gallon garbage carts among the city’s four waste management districts over the next four weeks. Plans are to deliver about 100,000 uniform garbage carts through next year. Read more.

Birmingham Council Discusses Changing the Neighborhood Association Structure

Several Birmingham City councilors on Tuesday called for significant changes to the city’s current organization of neighborhood associations.

Discussion over an item setting neighborhood elections for Oct. 18, later passed by the council, veered into a discussion of councilors’ broader dissatisfaction with the system. Most of that centered on low attendance at neighborhood meetings, leading to uncontested elections.

District 5 Councilor Darrell O’Quinn, a former president of the Crestwood North neighborhood, suggested that there were “other ways of devising a system that provides representation and embraces the reality that even though there may be hundreds of residents in a neighborhood, there’s only ever going to be a handful of people who actually engage in neighborhood-level conversations.” O’Quinn added that many neighborhood leaders are elected almost by default because no one else signs up to run. Read more.

What Does a Successful Guaranteed Income Program Look Like? Jackson Might Have the Answer

After months of planning, several cities in the Gulf South are finally ready to give guaranteed income a test run.

Birmingham, New Orleans and Shreveport, Louisiana each received a $500,000 grant to pilot a guaranteed income — the idea that one of the best ways to help people in need is to give them regular cash payments without any strings. Participants for each city’s pilot have been selected and, in some cases, money has already been sent out.

Those unwilling to wait to see results from these roughly year-long pilots to can look to Jackson, Mississippi. For the past three years, Springboard to Opportunities, a local nonprofit, has been successfully running its own guaranteed income program focused on helping Black mothers living in affordable housing. Read more.

Birmingham Has $53.4 Million Surplus, Will Fund 5% Pay Raises and Upgraded Trash Collection

Due to conservative budgeting and higher-than-expected sales tax revenues, a recent audit revealed that the city of Birmingham had a $53.4 million surplus for the 2021 fiscal year.

On Tuesday morning, the City Council voted to spend $39.5 million of that surplus on a variety of items — most significantly a 5% across-the-board raise for all city employees.

The raise will cost the city $11.6 million this fiscal year and is pending approval from the Jefferson County Personnel Board, which is slated to meet in early April.

Woodfin also said he would be recommending in his budget proposal for the year beginning July 1 that city employees get merit raises of up to 5% in the next budget year, which could mean a raise of up to 10% for some city workers within the next four months.

Other spending will include buying new garbage trucks and dedicated trash bins, paving streets and spending on the World Games. Read more.