Birmingham City Council Highlights 1.24.23
Here are a few of the legislative highlights from Tuesday’s Birmingham City Council meeting, in case you missed it.
The Council approved an item accepting grant funding from the Alabama Department of Revenue’s Rebuild Alabama Act for $250,000 for the repaving of a portion of Graymont Avenue. There will be no local matching funds required for this project. The repaving project will cover the portion of Graymont Avenue from Arkadelphia Road to 15th Street West.
This is a popular corridor that passes by Enon Ridge, Trinity Baptist Church and residential neighborhoods. Residents have been vocal about the need for this corridor to be repaved, Councilor Carol Clarke explained.
“Anytime we can secure grant funding to address infrastructure needs in our communities, that is a big win for our residents,” Clarke said.
The RAA Grant program was established in 2019 and allocates no less that $10 million annually to eligible projects across the state. The City of Birmingham received the maximum grant funding that is allowed under the current program.
In addition to this project, earlier this month the City Council approved a $12 million citywide project to pave 250 roads, improving roughly 43 miles around Birmingham.
Here is the item as it appeared on Tuesday’s agenda:
A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to execute any and all documents required for the City to complete a grant with the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) for grant funding from ALDOT’s Rebuild Alabama Act (RAA) Annual Grant Program for paving Graymont Avenue from Arkadelphia Road to 15th Street West in Bush Hills in the City of Birmingham with the total grant not to exceed $250,000.00 with no matching funds required by the City and authorizing the Mayor to take any and all actions and execute such other documents as are appropriate and necessary in accordance with the terms of the Grant. (Submitted by the City Attorney) (Recommended by the Mayor, Budget and Finance Committee and the Director Finance)
The Council unanimously approved several projects that will be funded through the various district’s federal ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding — each district was awarded $3 million in federal funds to distribute to various programs and initiatives in their district to aid in the ongoing COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Councilor Clinton Woods is utilizing $25,000 from his District 1 ARPA funds for the POWER career readiness program. This curriculum is designed to prepare youth and young adults, ages 16- 24, experiencing academic learning and job training loss due to COVID restrictions for high-demand jobs through workforce education, paid student internships, and eliminating barriers of employment by connecting program participants with employers.
POWER is a certified ACT WorkKeys site, which allows individuals the opportunity to obtain a National Career Readiness Certificate, which is a valuable credential for students and job seekers to verify their foundational workplace skills.
According to a recent study, about one in nine individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 are neither working nor attending schools in Alabama. This program is aimed at equipping young people with the skills and resources they need to advance in the workforce and also develop self-sustaining skills as they transition into adulthood.
Another ARPA funded program that the Council unanimously approved deals with crime reporting and data collection with the Aspen Institute. Districts 1, 6, 8 and 9 contributed District ARPA funds to help bring this justice and governance partnership to Birmingham — one of only six cities nationwide.
The goal of this partnership is to collect and compile crime data so that a comprehensive analysis of how local law enforcement resources are being used and how they can best be deployed to serve areas in need. This approach will allow for acute analysis on a neighborhood level across all nine districts.
According to representatives with the Aspen Institute, the data that is collected will be made fully available to both the Council and to members of the public. Even information such as how many court summons or traffic stops are taking place in each neighborhood will be available for public consumption once the program is underway, according the Aspen Institute.
“This is a revolutionary approach to how we look at crime data and how we can use that information in a way that benefits the entire city,” Councilor LaTonya Tate said. “I’d like to thank my colleagues and the members of the Aspen Institute for their continued support with this new initiative.”