Birmingham City Council unanimously passes $436 million FY 2019 Budget

Birmingham City Hall, June 19, 2018. Photo By Cody Owens

Today the Birmingham City Council unanimously passed the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget that will go into effect July 1 and totals $436,126,771 — marking $8 million in revenue growth from the FY 2018 Budget.

Both the General Fund Budget and the previous Capital appropriations passed unanimously.

Since Mayor Woodfin first proposed the FY 2019 budget to the Council, there have been four budget work sessions/Budget and Finance Committee meetings to discuss various recommendations and funding requests submitted by each Councilor.

Notable changes from the Mayor’s proposed FY 2019 Budget that was submitted on June 5, include increased funding for the following:

· $175,000 for Vulcan Park Foundation (from $300,000 to $475,000)

· $125,000 for Ruffner Mountain Agency (from $0 to $125,000)

· $100,000 for Sports and Tourism Development

· $35,000 for Rickwood Field (from $75,000 to $110,000)

· $59,104 for McWane Center (from $100,000 to $159,104)

The Birmingham Jefferson Transit Authority received $5 million and an additional $5.8 million was allocated for future transit projects.

“Passing a budget on time is important not just to our citizens, but also for all the city departments that provide services to the public,” Council President Valerie Abbott said. “I think this budget was a good compromise. In government, you have limited resources and unlimited needs. By passing this budget unanimously today it shows that the Council and Mayor recognize we are in this together and we want to get things done.”

During a brief press conference following the City Council meeting, Mayor Randall Woodfin said he was encouraged by the cooperation he experienced working with the Council during this budget process.

“For me it is about taking the time to understand each Councilor’s request,” Woodfin said. “We wanted to make sure we incorporated a majority of wants and needs. We’re not able to get everything for everyone, but for the most part I think we accomplished that.”

Youth Program

Following Tuesday’s vote, Councilor Lashunda Scales gave a $1,500 service contract for the Build Up Alabama program — which is based and operates in District 9 — following a short presentation brought forward by Councilor John Hilliard. She pledged an additional $1,500 for work to be done by the group in District 1, specifically.

Mark Martin, Founder and CEO of Build Up Alabama, teaching Birmingham teenagers how to use power tools

Councilor Steven Hoyt followed suit and pledged $2,500 for Build Up Alabama’s school that is slated to open in the Fall and will be geared toward teaching students how to maintain and repair homes as well as other vocational skills. Eventually, students will build up and repair duplexes in their community. The students will then take on a zero interest loan for the home and take ownership of the duplex once they graduate from the program.

This is the first program of its kind in the country, and has the potential to not only transform Ensley, but the entire city of Birmingham. Hilliard recommended funding for Build Up during the budget deliberations and following Tuesday’s vote, the group received $15,000 in funding in the FY 2019 Budget.

Council President Pro Tem Jay Roberson said on a recent trip to Nashville he visited a building was converted into a school and housed a wide variety of youth affiliated programs. “They had one place to go for all these programs that focus on making a difference in the lives of their youth. I can’t think of a better location than in Ensley that can house Build Up and other youth organizations,” Roberson said.

“I truly believe that under our current administration that we could find the resources and tools to build a youth opportunity center here. To have young people be able to come together to learn, get the character building they need and build a strong foundation for our future, that would be transformational for this city. I hope we can partner with other youth organizations to house them all in the same location,” Roberson said.

Below is a full copy of the FY 2019 Budget that was passed:

Tweets from The Birmingham City Council in Birmingham, Alabama