B’ham city leaders consider ways to save money

Birmingham city leaders meet amid budget shortfall

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham budget and finance committee met Monday night.

Ahead of the 2021 budget, which faces a projected $63 million deficit, city leaders considered a measure to refinance multiple General Obligation Warrants and Bonds, for a total of $198,165,000.

Birmingham Finance Director Lester Smith said refinancing several warrants will lower interest rates and free up cash to pay them down at a lower rate, which will also save the city money over the next three years.

“Approximately around $4.7 million dollars in 2021, around $6 million in 2022, and then there’s another$2 million in 2023,” said Smith.

As for the bonds, Smith said they will be refinanced and paid for out of the debt reserve fund, which will not impact the general fund.

“And what that’ll do is free up some debt capacity for the city of Birmingham going forward,” said Smith

Smith said the city would be able to cash out another $13 million from commercial development bonds but that money can only be used for commercial developments.

The Budget and Finance committee decided to send this item to the full council during Tuesday’s meeting.

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