Birmingham City Council discusses bond vote set for Tuesday

Birmingham voters will decide Tuesday whether to approve a $150 million bond referendum for capital improvement projects.

According to city leaders, the money will be used for projects such as solid waste, public parks, sidewalk improvements, economic development, public building facilities, and storm and sanitary sewers. Click here to view a list of the proposed projects.

"We{}need so many infrastructure improvements in the City of Birmingham, and without the bond referendum money, we won't have any to do that," said Councilor Valerie Abbott.

Abbott said the bonds will be repaid over a period of 30 years, and Birmingham has a Bond Reserve Fund, which receives 12 mills per $100 of property tax used to pay principal and interest on voted bonds. She added once the bonds are paid off, the capacity to handle a new bond issue increases.

"We're not raising taxes," said Abbott. "We are fortunate enough to have a mechanism to do capital improvement projects with no pain."

But many warn of the price tag and are urging voters to be wary.

"How can you go borrow $150 million dollars, and there is no debt?" questioned Councilor{}Lashunda Scales. "You've got to repay this money, and that's what the citizens need to know....The price tag is a little high{}where we are with our city's finances."