Birmingham mayor presents two State of the City speeches - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

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Birmingham mayor presents two State of the City speeches

Birmingham Mayor William Bell. (Source: WBRC video) Birmingham Mayor William Bell. (Source: WBRC video)
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Birmingham Mayor William Bell said building permits and revenue show people are moving back into the city.

"We've seen an uptick in the amount of building permits, residential housing permits in our neighborhoods and we expect them to grow even more in the 2017 period of time," Mayor Bell told reporters following his speech to the Kiwanis Club on Tuesday at the Harbert Center.

During a nearly hour long presentation, the mayor showcased efforts to revitalize the city from commercial and residential construction projects, crime reduction efforts from increasing the city's Shot Spotter technology to officer training, and job creation through partnerships with the Obama Administration to train and grow tech-based jobs in the city.

During the speech he said an announcement would soon come concerning "hundreds of jobs" in the area where the company Kamtek announced expansion last year.

At a second State of the City speech in Pratt City Tuesday evening, Bell said that the city hopes to break ground on Pratt Park in the spring. The park will be similar to Railroad park in downtown Birmingham and Bell hopes it will attract not just residents but businesses.

"It's very important for people to know that Pratt City is coming back," resident Ellen Spencer said. "We have the part that's coming to our area and I have the mayor come here and say that it is definitely coming. That's very important to us to the area."

"From time to time we get critics and that the only thing the city government cares about is downtown but in fact we have projects that are going on all across the city and to be out here in the public talking about projects that they can see feel and touch is important for the citizens as well," Bell said.

The development will also include new housing alongside the park as an effort to get people to move back in the community. It's expected to cost approximatly $26 million.

Bell is also expected to announce his bid for re-election in the coming weeks.

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