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Birmingham City Council Returns to Renovated Chambers to Start 2024

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By Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson
The Birmingham Times

The Birmingham City Council and city leaders returned to a new home for the new year.

The council held its first weekly Tuesday meeting January 2 on the third floor in City Hall in refurbished chambers after seven months of meeting on the second floor of the Boutwell Auditorium in downtown Birmingham, just steps away from City Hall.

The renovated chambers are complete with updated audio-visual equipment, an updated media room and updated lighting equipment; updated chairs in which were widened to be more comfortable.

Technical difficulties interrupted many meetings and councilors complained about the outdated equipment as well in the old space.

“The councilors couldn’t hear what the speakers were saying, and the speakers couldn’t hear what we were saying,” said Council President Darrell O’Quinn said. “The audio was going in and out. We had trouble with the livestream.”

He added the new cameras provide crystal clear clarity, thanks to “HD technology … “ The price tag for the new upgrades which began May of 2023 comes in at $500,000.

The renovations, even though they took longer than originally planned, were absolutely necessary, he said.

Councilor Valerie Abbott said the new year, new equipment, marked an opportunity to start 2024 on a positive note.

“How thankful I am for these new microphones,” said Abbott. “I can actually hear people. So, it’s been fun to be able to hear and to see (during this meeting). The lighting in here is so much better than it was,” she said.

Birmingham City Council meets each Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. in Conference Room A on the third floor in Birmingham City Hall.

For a look at the Council’s upcoming meeting schedule, visit https://www.birminghamalcitycouncil.org/meeting-archive/.

 To tune into the livestream, visit https://www.birminghamal.gov/city-directory/live-city-council-meetings/ or their Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/citycouncilbham.