Home ♃ Recent Stories ☄ Birmingham Mayor William Bell unveils $420 million budget for fiscal 2017

Birmingham Mayor William Bell unveils $420 million budget for fiscal 2017

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Birmingham Mayor William Bell on Tuesday gave the City Council a $420 million fiscal 2017 budget that has an emphasis on neighborhoods and public safety, he said.

The fiscal year begins July 1.

The General Fund Operating Budget projects total revenues of $420 million with an increase of $16.5 million over last fiscal year’s projection, the mayor said.

A growth in property tax, business taxes and a charges for services make up the increased revenue, he said.

The spending plan includes a 1 percent cost of living increase and a 5 percent merit raise for all eligible employees.

“In this budget, we are focusing on our two greatest assets, our employees and the neighborhoods,” Bell said in his budget message to the council.

“Our neighborhoods and communities are the backbone of this city . . . with that in mind, we are increasing the neighborhood funds to $5,000 per neighborhood rather than the $2,000 they had been receiving,” he said. “This money can be used for small, but impactful projects and events in the neighborhoods.”

He said the city has pushed a massive cleanup and revitalization effort that has seen over 400 structures torn down and thousands of acres and lots cleaned.

Those efforts can continue with $1.4 million in weed abatement money budgeted and over $1.3 million in demolition budgeted, he said.

“It is not enough to just tear down the houses or mow the lots, this year we will fund the Land Bank authority at the level of $350,000 to give them resources to clear the titles of tax delinquent properties,” he said.

Bell also said public safety is being addressed by expanding Shot Spotter with an additional 12 square miles at a cost of $840,000, more money for police body cameras and lease payments of $1.3 million for public safety communications equipment.

“Our police department is dedicated to the health and safety of our citizens and this gives us the chance to continue the positive impact they have on our community as a whole,” he said.

 

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