Mayor Randall L. Woodfin presented the largest budget proposal in the 150 year history of the city of Birmingham at the weekly Tuesday City Council meeting.
The $455-million operating budget proposal supports neighborhood revitalization, provides merit and longevity pay, a 1.5% cost of living adjustment for employees and restores pre-COVID-19 pandemic funding levels to various non-profits, boards and agencies.
“We stand at a moment of recovery and restoration,” Mayor Woodfin said. “This budget represents our shared priorities of neighborhood revitalization and fiscal responsibility with an eye toward investing in our future through proven initiatives like Birmingham Promise.”
More than $14 million is dedicated to neighborhood revitalization. Those funds include:
- Street Resurfacing: $10 million
- Demolition and Weed Abatement: $3.15 million
- Land Bank Authority: $300,000
- Recycling Pilot Program: $300,000
- ADA Sidewalks: $275,000
The proposed budget supports a commitment to restore full funding to boards and agencies in partnership with the city. Due to the economic impact of the pandemic, funding of boards and agencies was reduced in the 2021 operating budget.
We caught up with Carlee Sanford, the Executive Director at Ruffner Mountain to get her reaction to the proposed restoration of the pre-pandemic funding levels.
“Relieved. That was my initial reaction. Followed by a deep gratitude to the Mayor and his wonderful team, each of our nine City Councilors working so hard for Birmingham, and the dedicated community of individuals that, together, advocate for our green spaces, parks, and preserves, including Ruffner Mountain. We are so thankful to the City of Birmingham for supporting Ruffner Mountain— essential to a healthy, thriving Jefferson County.”
Additional nonprofits and agencies receiving increases in the proposed budget include:
- Red Mountain Theater
- Ruffner Mountain
- Railroad Park
- Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
- Jones Valley Teaching Farms
- Create Birmingham Film Initiative
- Vulcan Park Foundation
- Alabama Ballet
- Clas Tran
- Red Mountain Park
“In addition to this operating budget, the city will be moving forward on a separate track with the Magic City Recovery supported by the funds provided through the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan,” said Woodfin. “I look forward to continued partnership with the council as we take the steps to transform our city.”
The public can review the proposed operating budget, capital budget and additional information about the budget process at https://www.birminghamal.gov/budget2022.
The city council is holding a hearing on the budget on June 1st. Visit https://www.birminghamalcitycouncil.org/meeting-archive/ for details.
The city’s new fiscal year begins July 1, 2021.