Category: Economy

Commission OKs Incentive for World Police and Fire Games, Prez Says Don’t Let World Games Problems Deter Investment

Jefferson County can’t let the issues that followed The World Games keep the county from being involved with other economy-impacting events, Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens said Thursday.

During the County Commission’s meeting, commissioners supported a piece of legislation that exempted the World Police and Fire Games, which are slated for Birmingham in 2025, from taxes. Read more.

Transportation Secretary Buttigieg Announces $14.5M Award to Turn 4th Avenue North Into a Two-Way Street

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stopped traffic on Fourth Avenue North on Wednesday to announce a $14.5 million grant to help reconnect parts of the community that have been divided by transportation decisions of the past.

The announcement, staged in the middle of the downtown thoroughfare, outlined a grant to Birmingham to convert Fourth Avenue North — which includes the historic Fourth Avenue Black Business District — from a one-way road to a two-way. Read more.

Birmingham Council Urges Truist Bank to Keep Roebuck Branch Open

The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday passed a resolution urging Truist Bank to reconsider plans to close its Roebuck branch in March. “A great deal of residents in that area benefit from that branch, rely on that branch and would be negatively impacted if that branch were to close,” said Councilor Clinton Woods, adding that investments are going into the immediate area. Read more.

JeffCo Commission to Consider Selling Property for BJCC Use

The Jefferson County Commission is expected to jettison the old Salvation Army Building on Abraham Woods Jr. Boulevard, selling it to the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority, during its meeting Thursday.

“The county was looking to sell the surplus property,” BJCC Executive Director and CEO Tad Snider said in an interview. “Given its proximity to the BJCC and City Walk, we chose to purchase and will redevelop or repurpose for additional parking.” The sales price is $810,000. Read more.

How Jefferson County Pulled Off a Billion-Dollar Refinancing to Help Stabilize Sewer Rates and Regain Trust

Jimmie Stephens remembers he wasn’t proud of Jefferson County when he took office as a county commissioner in 2010.

“I was embarrassed and ashamed of what Jefferson County had become and what its reputation was, in the state and in the nation,” recalled Stephens, now the president of the commission.

Jefferson County had become by most accounts one of the worst financially managed governments in the nation laying off more than 1,000 of its employees and filing the then-largest municipal bankruptcy in November 2011.

But Stephens, his fellow commissioners, county manager and department heads no longer feel that sense of shame and embarrassment, they say.

Last month, Jefferson County got positive reviews from investors and financial publications that would have been unimaginable more than 10 years ago. Read more.

Birmingham Council to Sell Old Scott Elementary, Nearby Community Center to Group to Establish a Community Health Center

The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday voted to sell the old Scott Elementary School and a neighboring community center to a group planning a health clinic at the property. The measure passed despite some pushback from community members, particularly those already involved in operating a community center there. Read more.

Council Approves $150K for Project to Provide High-Level Training to Junior Tech Workers

The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday voted to spend $150,000 on a project to transition junior developers and engineers in the tech industry into more senior-level positions. 

The group tasked with developing this program, called the Birmingham Upskill Partnership Initiative, is the regional technology association TechBirmingham.

Deon Gordon, president and CEO of TechBirmingham, said stakeholders in the tech industry have noticed a dearth of workers with senior-level skill sets. Read more.