Tag: Birmingham City Council

Birmingham Council Reallocates Unused CrossPlex Funds to Repave Roads, Under Protest

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to reallocate money from a completed capital project at the Birmingham CrossPlex to citywide road repaving, rebuffing the protests of District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt, who called the proposal “unfair.”

The $468,532.78 in question was left over from the construction of detention ponds, fountains, a walking trail and fencing at the CrossPlex; that money will be added to a $6.7 million repaving project the council approved in December. Last week, city engineer Mike Eddington told the council that the project was completed two years ago, and the money has sat untouched in that project’s fund since then.

Hoyt attempted to delay a vote on the reallocation by several weeks, arguing that funding should not be taken away from the still-developing CrossPlex. “Ain’t nothing complete out there, and you all know that,” he said. Read more.

Mural Disagreement Delays Grant to Five Points West

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt clashed Tuesday over a proposed grant that would fund five new murals in Five Points West, in addition to several other programs,

The argument resulted in a two-week delay and threats from Woodfin to scuttle the grant entirely.

The grant, part of Woodfin’s Bold — Building Opportunities for Lasting Development — program, would give the Five Points West/Crossplex Business Alliance $26,500 to provide a variety of services, including training, talent and recruitment programs for local businesses, a new business office for meetings and training to be developed in tandem with Main Street Alabama, façade and signage improvements for small businesses and the collection of data “regarding all businesses and commercial properties in the Five Points West Commercial Corridor.”

But Hoyt, who had called for the item to be delayed when it appeared before the council last month, took issue with one clause in the proposed grant requiring the business alliance to develop five murals in the Five Points West business district. Read more.

Birmingham City Council Settles Suit With One Self-Storage Developer, Extends Moratorium

The council voted unanimously to extend the city’s moratorium on new self-storage developments by 90 days. But it also voted to settle a lawsuit from one developer, paying out up to $125,000 and allowing construction on a self-storage facility near Vulcan Park to continue. Read more.

Five Points South Wins Entertainment District Designation

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to name Five Points South an “entertainment district,” making it one of only three areas in the city where it’s legal to drink alcohol in public.

The effort was spearheaded by the Five Points Alliance, a consortium of neighborhood business owners and residents. John Boone, the alliance’s vice president, told the council that the ordinance would help the alliance with planning large community events, such as the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and Taste of Five Points food festival. Read more.

Birmingham Spreading Word Against Human Trafficking Ahead of World Games

When the World Games comes to Birmingham in 2021, it’s projected to bring with it $256 million in economic impact, thanks to an estimated influx of 100,000 athletes and sports fans. But at Tuesday’s meeting of the Birmingham City Council, officials said they were working to prevent a potential unintended consequence of that influx: an uptick in human trafficking.

The council voted Tuesday to pass a resolution calling for a communitywide awareness campaign against human trafficking. The measure, spearheaded by District 6 Councilor Crystal Smitherman and Mayor Randall Woodfin, calls for “comprehensive education of (city) staff and the implementation and enforcement of a zero-tolerance policy of any act that may support human trafficking.” Read more.

New Birmingham Bold Funding Approved for Economic Development Projects, From Help for Small Businesses to Job Training for Single Mothers

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to approve $680,949.46 in program funding for seven local organizations as part of Mayor Randall Woodfin’s Building Opportunities for Lasting Development initiative.

Adah International, the Birmingham Business Alliance, the Birmingham Business Resource Center, Jefferson State Community College, REV Birmingham, the Salvation Army, and the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham were the beneficiaries in Bold’s second year, following approval of the program’s “inaugural class” last November.

Several of the projects will help small businesses, with a focus on women-owned, minority-owned and disadvantaged businesses, while others will support underprivileged mothers and children and help residents improve their work skills. Read more.

Alexander Retains Seat in Birmingham City Council District 7 Runoff

Despite strong opposition from challenger Ray Brooks, incumbent District 7 City Councilor Wardine Alexander appears to have retained her seat on the Birmingham City Council.

Alexander secured 869 votes compared to Brooks’ 751 votes, or 53.6% and 47.4% of the vote, respectively. That vote count does not include provisional ballots, which have yet to be tallied. Turnout in Tuesday’s election was 9.36%, according to the city clerk’s office. Read more.

Birmingham Council District 7 Up for Grabs in Today’s Runoff

Residents of Birmingham’s District 7 are heading to the polls today to choose their representative on the City Council.

The runoff election offers residents a choice of two candidates — incumbent Councilor Wardine Alexander and former Birmingham Fire Chief Ray Brooks — neither of whom were able to attain the 50% of the vote required to win outright in Oct. 9’s election. Read more.

Birmingham City Council Appoints New Design Review Committee Members After Tiff Over Vetting Candidates

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

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.