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Residents demanding Birmingham City Council make changes to Mayor Woodfin’s proposed 2023 budget

WBRC Birmingham budget meeting
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 9:41 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham community members have weighed in on Mayor Randall Woodfin’s $517 million proposed budget for the 2023 fiscal year.

Dozens of people came to city hall to tell the Birmingham City Council about what they want the city to spend the money on.

“I hope y’all look at this budget and take our concerns seriously,” Central Park neighborhood resident Susan Palmer said. “Because it is time out that we are promised things and we are not given those things we are promised.”

The 2023 budget isn’t set in stone yet, council still has to vote on it before July 1. It has $517 million divided up into police, fire, raises for city employees, streets and more.

But, many residents told the council they want more money for flood prevention, libraries, street resurfacing, and neighborhood revitalization for older homes.

Residents said their cars are being destroyed by pot holes, lights are out in some parking lots, and they want money for the food deserts in northern parts of the city.

Chairman for the city’s Budget and Finance Committee Crystal Smitherman said they are only required to host one community budget meeting, but she wanted to host two. She said she likes to know exactly what residents want fixed, so she can go back and negotiate with the mayor before the budget is voted on.

“Being able to talk to the mayor about ‘hey, these are the priorities that these people want, let’s see if we can move the money around to change it, or if not, let’s see if we can get grant or federal funding for their needs’,” Smitherman said.

The council will host another community input meeting on June 16 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Smitherman said make sure you get there early and sign up at the front desk to speak.

There will also be another chance to ask questions about the budget on June 13 at the end of their regularly scheduled budget meeting. Smitherman said you just need to sign up at the front.

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