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Birmingham City Council approves Woodfin’s 2022 budget

The council approved the budget on an 8 to 0 vote.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin speaks during a livestreamed press conference.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin speaks during a livestreamed press conference.

The Birmingham City Council on Monday approved Mayor Randall Woodfin’s $455 million operating budget request.

The ambitious spending plan supports neighborhood revitalization with $10 million for street paving and an additional $1 million sidewalk budget. There are also funds to maintain demolition and weed abatement.

The budget provides a 1.5 percent pay raise for city employees and funds merit and longevity pay. The budget provides paid city holidays and fully funds the employee pension program. The city contribution to the pension program is more than $32 million.

“This is a moment of recovery and restoration for our city,” Woodfin said in a statement. “I want to thank the council for working alongside me to ensure our shared priorities of neighborhood revitalization and fiscal responsibility are supported in this budget.”

In addition to addressing the priorities of neighborhood revitalization and city employees, the budget fully funds public safety, the popular initiative Birmingham Promise and establishes a $50,000 grant program to pair city and neighborhood association funds to expand traffic calming strategies throughout the city. The boards and agencies, which partner with the city to provide services for residents, will also be fully funded.

The council approved the budget on an 8 to 0 vote.

The budget was passed ahead of the start of the 2022 fiscal year, which will run from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022.

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Woodfin is seeking a second term as mayor.

The deadline to qualify for the election is July 10, but Woodfin already faces a crowded field of challengers including former Mayor William Bell, Jefferson County Commissioner Lashunda Scales, businessman Chris Woods, community activist Darryl Williams and philanthropist Cerissa Brown.

Woodfin was elected in 2017, defeating then-incumbent William Bell.

The Birmingham municipal elections will be held on Aug. 24. The runoff will be Oct. 5 if needed.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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