Photo: Jann Robinson speaking before Birmingham City Council, taken from livestream
Residents of Birmingham criticized Mayor Randall Woodfin’s plan to sell 6 city parking decks in order to ease COVID-related revenue shortfalls during a city council meeting on Tuesday.
“Admittedly, when I heard that we were considering selling the decks, I thought about lost revenue. I was kind of alarmed. I see them as assets of the city,” said Jann Robinson, a Birmingham resident.
However, Woodfin said the parking deck deal is the best option when it comes to the city’s $63 million deficit, furloughed workers and smaller amount of city services, according to WBRC.
Woodfin said the city only receives approximately $1 million in revenue from the Birmingham Parking Authority, with around $600,000 of it going back to the BPA for city employee parking.
The sale would allow for investment and revitalization in 98 neighborhoods, according to Woodfin.
Resident Robert Walker said he believed that selling the parking decks was a bad idea and that money could be invested elsewhere to help neighborhoods in the city of Birmingham.
“Selling our property off is a bad idea and it needs to be scrapped,” Walker said.
During a specially called Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, Woodfin said the city is not in need of additional parking decks and that the decks that would be for sale are not being used.
A group of private investors, Birmingham Economic Development Partners, LLC, is looking to purchase the city’s parking decks, according to The Birmingham Times.
“Just because we own it, doesn’t mean we’re making profit from it,” Woodfin said.
In other business, the board approved:
- a resolution authorizing grant funding from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, Inc. for a $33,180 grant award for use by the Birmingham Fire & Rescue Service Department
- an ordinance to declare Nov. 3 a one-time, unpaid holiday as well as proclaiming the day as Martha Mae Ophelia Moon Tucker Day in honor of 93-year-old resident and dedicated poll worker
- a contract between the city and Dan’s Inc. that allows for redevelopment of a portion of Parkway East Shopping Center
The city council meets every Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. on the third floor of the Birmingham City Hall.
Edited by Hannah Warren & Ryan Michaels