Budget and Finance Committee Recap 3.12.18

Here’s the full video from the meeting:

Extraordinary Circumstances

During the Monday’s Budget and Finance Committee meeting, the Councilors approved emergency funding measures for several “extraordinary circumstances” at city owned facilities.

Here is the full copy of the agenda item:

An Ordinance to amend the Birmingham Fund Budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018, by appropriating $600,000.00 to Museum of Art — Chiller, $1,500,000.00 to Police, Jail Renovations, $570,000.00 to Police, Range Improvements, $80,000.00 to Powderly Library Repairs, $95,000.00 to Fire Station #26 Driveway repairs, $83,000.00 to Fire Station #24 Roof Repairs and $2,072,000.00 to Equipment Management, Fleet Replacement. The Council hereby finds this appropriation to constitute an extraordinary circumstance for an expenditure from the Birmingham Fund. Funding Source is investment gains. It is the Council’s finding that the expenditure is clearly in the best interest of the City and its residents and would address an extraordinary circumstance that was not foreseen or anticipated at the time the Fund was established.

“The city jail is an old jail,” said Andre Bittas, Director of the Planning, Engineering and Permits Department. “We’ve been working on this for a while but recently it’s come to our attention that there are some structural issues that need to be addressed immediately.”

There is a roof leak within the facility and water has been accumulating in the facility, increasing the risk of mold. “There are roof leaks throughout the whole building and we must address that,” Bittas said. Last week, members of the Birmingham City Council and Mayor Randall Woodfin toured the facility and noticed a myriad of needs that must be addressed. For example, the kitchen facility is not up to code, Bittas continued; a number of equipment items are no longer working properly.

Another expenditure that was discussed revolved around issues at several Birmingham Fire Stations — Fire Station №24 is in need of roof repairs (currently there is a tarp preventing rain water from leaking into the station, and Fire Station №26 needs a new driveway to be able to allow access from the heavy trucks.

In total, there were seven expenditures, all of which were labelled as emergencies by Mayor Woodfin. The funding source for the various projects will come from the Birmingham Fund, which currently has accrued $5 million in interest, which is equal to the total repairs that were approved by the committee. The Birmingham Fund was set up after the sale of the Industrial Water Works and serves as the city’s emergency fund, which tends to have to an approximate fund balance of $89 million.

The item, which was recommended to the full Council, also included a $2.07 million for fleet replacement, which will include some of the more pressing needs with 24 police cars, five ambulances and a number of service oriented vehicles.

Prevention Through Intervention

Memorandum of Understanding and Intergovernmental Agreement with The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama for The University of Alabama Hospital under which the City of Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service will provide certain in-home follow-up care and treatment to patients it transports to University Hospital after hospital discharge, to include certain medical interventions, preventive care, and the identification of new medical conditions, and University Hospital will pay the City $195.00 per patient per month for each patient participating in this Paramedicine/EMT Program.

Assistant Fire Chief, Donald Jones and Lieutenant Benjamin Thompson presented this program, which will work to reduce the frequency of return ER visits by educating residents about preventative healthcare, instead of patients simply being discharged, not having a primary care doctor to follow up with, and repeating that costly cycle over and over again.

The objective of the “Prevention through Intervention” program is to decrease the dependency on emergency services through patient education, patient advocacy, community collaboration, and progressive policy change.”

Here is the full presentation given by Assistant Chief Jones and Lieutenant Thompson:

Full Agenda:

Tweets from The Birmingham City Council in Birmingham, Alabama