Midfield mayor says city is on the move
Every city's mayor wants to believe the municipality is on the move. In the Jefferson County city of Midfield, the mayor has even adopted that as a slogan. Mayor Is Gary Richardson says there are a handful of projects he believes will have a positive impact on Midfield's infrastructure. But there are also areas where Midfield has fallen behind.
"We're utilizing our resources that are available. We're are going out and securing additional resources beyond what our general fund does," says Richardson.
Midfield is small. Population around 5,300. It can easily get lost in the shadow of Birmingham. Still, Richardson says the city has plenty to offer. He points out several projects underway. "We have a previously abandoned property, midfield dodge now being occupied by drive time auto. We have an impending construction for a new Walgreen's. In addition to that we got a business license for a new store, the Village Thrift."
Additionally, the city has secured 2.2 million dollars for road repairs. But not everything in Midfield is on the move; at least not in the right direction.
For one, the city's population has decreased by more than five percent over the past 13 years. It's a downward trend that mayor Richardson knows will hurt. He says there is an obvious explanation. It's an aging population. "When I took office we had more than forty percent of our population more than age 60 and older. People have died, passed on."
Richardson says there are plans to boost the population. "We've entered into a collaborative effort with the city of Birmingham with a greenway project. We feel that having citizens with an active lifestyle tends to attract younger people to your community," he said.
Midfield's housing market is suffering as well. From 2008 to 2013 home sales were cut in half. "We've established a midfield housing authority for the sole purpose of introducing first-time home buyers to the city of midfield and reclaiming some properties that were abandoned."
Midfield's limited resources makes it depend on help from the county. But even that is limited. "We look for more help from Jefferson county. We wish they were not in the financial condition they are in."