BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Birmingham voters said yes to a bond referendum in 2012. The vote gave the city the go ahead to borrow $150 million for improvement projects.
Birmingham Mayor William Bell held a town hall meeting Monday to explain what the city has done so far.
Bond dollars are responsible for improvements to many parks, “we want to make sure that all of our parks are parks that people can be proud of, that people feel safe in and are able to take their children to,” said Bell.
It has also been used to resurface roads throughout the city, “we didn’t have enough money to resurface every street that needed it, but we took the list that the council provided and we’re working on those streets.”
Tyrone Richards lives on 79th Street South, one of the streets that likely won’t be repaired with bond money.
“I’ve live there for 20 years and it’s never been paved. They patch it year after year,” he told the mayor during the meeting.
“We’re trying to resurface roads throughout the city of Birmingham but it’s according to the list that the council provided and so we’re targeting those streets but that’s not to say those will be the last streets that will be resurfaced,” said Bell.
Mayor Bell says requests for state and federal funds have been made to continue road improvement projects.
According to city officials $9 million was allocated for street resurfacing projects in April. This city is about 70% complete and should wrap up by late September.
Residents also expressed concerns about overgrown lots. Including Mr. Richards, who lives across the street from a home that has been abandoned for several years. Only the roof is visible as it has been almost entirely overtaken by weeds and other growth.
The city’s public works department addressed such issues at the town hall meeting.
Officials say an initiative has begun to tackle the city’s 8,000 back logged lots that have been declared public nuisances.
Crews are working seven days a week and 12 hours a day.