The Birmingham City Council approved the 2019 budget Tuesday with a vote of 8-0. District 1 Councilwoman Lashunda Scales was not present for the vote.
The $436 million budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 includes support for basic city services and a small cost of living increase for employees.
Some funding requests will be handled differently than in years past. Mayor Randall Woodfin did not include funding in the budget for nonprofit economic interest groups such as the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) and REV Birmingham. Instead, those groups will have to submit proposals for individual projects to receive funds. The council had proposed $735,000 for REV and $137,975 for the BBA.
There’s also a change in transit funding. Although $10 million is designated for public transit, only half will go to the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority. The city might release the other $5 million, provided the BJCTA meets certain requirements.
In his initial budget proposal, Woodfin wanted to withhold all funds from the BJCTA. He says the transit authority needs to put in place a plan for leadership stability and board training before receiving any city funds.
At a committee meeting Monday evening, council members said they plan to explore more efficient transportation options.
The budget also includes:
**$2,000 for each of the city’s 99 neighborhoods.
**1 percent cost of living adjustment for city employees
**$3 million for a new downtown stadium and BJCC expansion
**$3 million for Birmingham City Schools, including money for more metal detectors, handheld scanners, door alarms, security officers and crossing guards.