Tag: Birmingham City Council

Birmingham Sets Aside $500,000 for Employee Hazard Pay

Birmingham will provide hazard pay to select city employees during the COVID-19 crisis, the City Council decided Tuesday.

Mayor Randall Woodfin told councilors that the pay increase, which will last for one month, will go to 1,978 city employees “that engage in some form or shape with the public.”

That includes 922 police and corrections officers; 607 fire and rescue service employees; 220 public works employees; 100 planning, engineering and permits employees; 90 municipal court employees; 29 finance department employees; and 10 City Hall security officers employed by the mayor’s office. Read more.

Birmingham City Council Approves Final Piece of Funding for a Small Business Loan Program

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.

Birmingham Residents Ordered to Shelter in Place, Leave Home for Only the Most Essential Activities

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.

Ivey Says No Shelter-in-Place Order Needed for State Right Now; Health Officials Search for Extra Medical Resources

Birmingham Council OKs Funding for Small Business Loans

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.

Birmingham’s Coronavirus Response Includes Loan Program for Small Businesses, Increased Funding for First Responders

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.

Changes Shake up Birmingham City Council Committees

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.

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.