Councilors hear update on Birmingham improvement study - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Councilors hear update on Birmingham improvement study

Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video

A study is underway to look for ways to improve Birmingham neighborhoods.

New Orleans-based GCR Incorporated has been hired to conduct the study.

They started in July and plan to issue an official report in December. The company is using information from the census and the city's economic development department to gather data about income, demographics and blighted houses.

On Tuesday, Mayor William Bell's office provided council members an update on the gathering of information out of Birmingham neighborhoods.

Nathan Cataline with GCR said they are also seeking input from citizens.

"We have an online survey. What are the Birmingham residents experience with housing in the city?" Cataline said.

Council members urged Cataline to provide paper surveys to those residents who don't have computers.

While some welcomed the update other councilors questioned why they didn't have a chance to get a thorough briefing before Tuesday's short update.

"Council members want to be activily invovled in any process that involves the city, particularly their districts because we want to make sure accurate information is provided," Councilor LaShunda Scales said.

The council members directed their displeasure at the Bell administration, especially the economic development department, which GCR is working with in the study, for failing to give them timely information about the survey.

Council President Johnathan Austin said he will arrange for a meeting of the whole council to allow for an extensive update and questions.

Austin agreed the study is important for the city's future.

"Houses are being torn down all across the city. We need to know tohave a better understanding and how that is happening throughout the city," Austin said.

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