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Birmingham mayor prioritizes neighborhoods, youth, public transportation in budget

Neighborhood revitalization remains the Woodfin administration’s top priority.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin gave remarks and participated in the Protective Stadium Sign Lighting at Protective Life Stadium Tuesday, September 14, 2021 in Birmingham, Ala. Governor's Office/Hal Yeager
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Mayor Randall L. Woodfin’s Fiscal Year 2024 Operating Budget proposal prioritizes neighborhood revitalization, investments in youth, public transportation and city employees. Mayor Woodfin presented the $554 million spending plan to the Birmingham City Council Tuesday, May 16, 2023. 

Neighborhood revitalization remains the Woodfin administration’s top priority. The proposed budget provides $15 million for street resurfacing in the new fiscal year, which starts July 1, 2023. 

“I am very pleased with the commitment we have made to street resurfacing. It is a priority for residents therefore it is a priority for me,” Mayor Woodfin said. “Over a five-year period, we have committed $60 million to street paving in our operating budgets. This work will continue.” 

The budget provides funding for additional neighborhood revitalization efforts. 

  • Weed abatement: $2 million  
  • Demolition: $1 million  
  • Land Bank: $500,000 
  • Traffic calming: $250,000 (This includes physical measures to reduce vehicle speeds and increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists.)  
  • Sidewalks: $200,000 (Funds will be paired with existing sidewalk funds of $875,000.) 

The budget invests in multiple youth initiatives. The Birmingham Promise will receive $2 million to support juniors and seniors in Birmingham City Schools through apprenticeships and tuition support for higher education. An additional $1 million will go to Birmingham City Schools for mental health support. In addition, funding will continue for financial literacy and conflict resolution curriculums provided through a partnership with Birmingham City Schools. 

Public transportation receives a significant boost in the proposed budget with $11 million for the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority’s fixed route service, $3 million for the Birmingham Xpress bus rapid transit system and $2.5 million for the Birmingham on Demand shared mobility service powered by VIA. 

Mayor Woodfin proposes a 5 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for police and firefighters in the budget. This would follow two separate 5 percent COLAs provided for all employees since May 2022. In addition, the budget funds merit and longevity pay for employees. The city will cover the majority of an increase in health benefits cost for employees. 

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“We have already dedicated $60 million from budget surplus to invest in our people, neighborhoods and facilities,” Mayor Woodfin said. “We are leveraging the more than $140 million provided by the Biden-Harris administration’s American Rescue Plan Act to make an impact in our community. This proposed operating budget combined with those investments will provide an opportunity for us to support our shared priorities, enhance our current efforts and position Birmingham for continued growth.” 

Mayor Woodfin’s proposed budget under consideration by the Birmingham City Council can be viewed online at www.birminghamal.gov/2024budget

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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