Bond Referendum passes in Birmingham


The people of the Magic City have spoken. They went to the polls Tuesday to vote yes on a $150 million bond issue. It was broken up into six propositions. The first provides for improvements to the city's landfill. The second provides money to improve parks and other recreation facilities. Proposition 3 funds work on roads and sidewalks. Number 4 clears the way for economic development, including industrial parks. 5 provides cash for public buildings, and equipment and proposition 6 funds storm drains and sewers. "It's time to go to work," Mayor William Bell said. "The public has given us the authorization to the resources necessary to rebuild our communities and do the things they want to see."Here's a break down of the cash:$6.3 million is for landfill projects.{}$11 million is for storm and sewer projects.{}$19 million is for economic development.{}$20 million is for park projects$45 million is for public facility projects and $48.7 million goes toward streets and sidewalk repairs.{}Half will be borrowed now, the other half, later. Mayor Bell says without this bond, much needed city projects and repairs wouldn't get done, but the concern from other councilors was whether the city could afford it.{}"We have to be cautious in a down economy," Councilor Stephen Hoyt said."People are necessarily worried that somehow the city will do it to, but we're in very good financial condition, it's something that all of us are really proud of," Valerie Abbott, City Councilor said.Tuesday's voter turnout paints the same picture as the public meetings about the referendum displayed. In fact, only 20 attended The final meeting Monday night.{}"We ended up with the measure having to stand on its own and that doesn't generate a lot of activity as if a competition between two politicians going forth sees," Mayor Bell said.