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The City of Birmingham’s 2019 operating budget comes in at $436 million, with an increase of $8 million. Here’s what’s being funded and what’s being cut:
1. Won’t Someone Think Of The Pot Holes?
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin says that the pot holes are a job for the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT). According to ALDOT, the city received $2.2 million for citywide street paving. In addition, another $2 million is slated for the Fountain Heights neighborhood because of the interstate construction there. Birmingham, I guess we can call Domino’s. Their “Paving For Pizza” campaign sounds pretty good right about now.
Here’s where you can find a copy of the 2019 budget.
2. Birmingham City Schools: No Additional Funding
While there won’t be any additional funding for the schools via the city in 2019, they are allocated $3 million for crossing guards, door alarms, handheld scanners, more metal detectors and security officers.
3. Money For Neighborhoods
The budget includes $2,000 for each of Birmingham’s 99 neighborhoods, for a total of $198,000. Last year’s fiscal budget included $499,700 for neighborhood associations.
The initial 2019 budget did not include money for neighborhood associations, instead putting money into revitalization for all the communities. After hearing complaints from the city council and residents, Woodfin restored funding to the city’s 99 neighborhood associations.
4. Demolition And Weeds
The mayor appropriated $3.2 million for the demolition of dilapidated structures and weed abatement.
“A lot of this budget reflects our number one priority, and that is neighborhood revitalization,” Mayor Woodfin said. “There is more money for weed abatement and demolition as far as putting money on the ground in neighborhoods.”
5. Other Highlights
- Expanding the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex: $3 million a year for 30 years
- Building maintenance:$495,000
- Street lighting: $400,000
- Interstate lighting: $500,000
- 1 percent cost of living adjustment for all city employees: $2.8 million
- Continuation of merit pay and longevity pay for employees: $4.3 million
- Pension funding increase in 2019 by $2.9 million.
The $8 Million Question
This year’s budget is $8 million larger than last year’s. The source?
- Increased revenue from occupational taxes
- Job cuts: 133 vacant jobs were removed from the budget ($4.7 million)