Category: Government

Birmingham Council to Hear Arguments on Zoning for Medical Cannabis Dispensaries

The Birmingham City Council has set a Nov. 29 public hearing over proposed changes to the city’s zoning code that would allow for medical cannabis production facilities and dispensaries within city limits.

It’s the next step in a process the council started last month when it approved an ordinance broadly authorizing medical cannabis dispensaries in Birmingham. The Alabama State Legislature, which legalized the production and distribution of medical marijuana last year, will maintain strict control over the licensing process via the newly created Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, which is not expected to issue distributor licenses until July.

The new zoning code also would change zoning definitions for opioid replacement therapy treatment facilities, moving them from the “special exception” category to “permitted with conditions.” Read more.

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.

Jeffco Commission Discusses Proposed Downtown Amphitheater

A proposed $50 million amphitheater that could seat up to 9,000 people received a less-than-enthusiastic reception when it was presented during Tuesday’s committee meeting of the Jefferson County Commission. 

Commission President Jimmie Stephens doled out copies of The Star Uptown Amphitheater Opportunity, a seven-page information booklet produced by Corporate Realty, to fellow commission members.

The plan calls for an amphitheater that could seat from 8,500 to 9,000 and would be owned by the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center Authority and managed by Live Nation. 

The downtown entertainment venue would be located north of Protective Stadium and west of The Star at Uptown development on the old Carraway Hospital campus. It would replace the “aging” Oak Mountain Amphitheater, which is managed by Live Nation. 
Read more.

Birmingham City Council Approves Package That Will Bring 76 Research Jobs to City

Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, the San Diego-based company that purchased Southern Research’s engineering division earlier this year, will receive up to $228,000 in city incentives to bring 76 new jobs to Birmingham.

The Birmingham City Council unanimously approved the development agreement at its meeting Tuesdsay.

Kratos acquired Southern Research’s engineering division (SRE) in May for $80 million; it will invest an estimated total of $26.6 million into the division’s campus, located at 757 Tom Martin Drive. That will include hiring and training 76 new employees over the next five years; for each new hire, the city will refund the company $3,000 in occupational taxes.
Read more.

Birmingham Gets Grant to Train Unemployed for Health Care Jobs

A $10.8 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration will go to a new initiative placing Birmingham’s historically excluded job seekers in high-demand health care positions.

“Our grant (proposal) was very competitive because we have an amazing health care sector here, and so essentially this will build on our already existing opportunities (to) connect job seekers who haven’t really traditionally had the ability to cross over and compete for those jobs,” said Sarah McMillan, the manager of workforce and talent development in the city’s Office of Innovation and Economic Opportunity. Read more.

Tyson Pushes for Saturday Absentee Voting, Commissioners Demur

Sheila Tyson was determined to have her say.

The Jefferson County commissioner whose resolution to open the courthouse for absentee Saturday voting declared that commissioners who voted against the matter going onto today’s agenda were wrong to not open the courthouse.

Arguing for in-person absentee voting on two Saturdays in October, Tyson said the underlying problem is voter suppression.

“Voter suppression is rampant here in the state of Alabama because that’s the only reason I can see why these doors are not open,” she said. Read more.