2012 Birmingham budget
The Fiscal Year 2012 Birmingham budget includes the general fund operating budget for the City of Birmingham for the fiscal year July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012. A proposal was submitted by Mayor William Bell to the Birmingham City Council on May 10, 2010, 10 days before the deadline. After weeks of deliberations, a final version passed the Council by an 8-1 vote on June 22.
The mayor's submitted $370 million proposal was 1% larger than the previous year's budget, but projected slightly lower revenues. The difference would be made up by withdrawing $7.68 million from the city's long-term savings and $11.3 million from the Birmingham Fund, an investment account. Included in his proposal was a 2% raise for city employees as well as benefits such as tuition reimbursement and lowered insurance premiums. $965,000 would be used to replace police vehicles. Departmental budgets would increase while funding for outside agencies, such as Operation New Birmingham and Main Street Birmingham would be trimmed. $1.6 million in operational costs for the Birmingham CrossPlex facility at Fair Park were also added.
The City Council objected to the amount Bell wished to spend from the $89 million Birmingham Fund and cited a policy limiting withdrawals to 5% of its value. They proposed cutting about $5 million in spending and using additional credit from a previously-approved loan to make up the $2 million difference. The council objected to Bell's proposed across-the-board pay raises, citing the lack of revenue growth, but did allow for $1.8 million in merit raises as well as added funding for various social service agencies.
The city's capital budget included $4.5 million to help fund improvements at the McWane Science Center, $1.2 million to continue bringing sidewalks up to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, $2 million for the Finley Boulevard extension, and $3 million for street resurfacing in fiscal year 2012. $20 million for closure of the Eastern Landfill and $6 million for the Birmingham Intermodal Facility were projected for fiscal year 2013.
Ultimately the council approved a $375 million version which included a $1 million loan, a 1% cut to most city departments, and $11.5 million in withdrawals from reserve accounts. The approved version preserved the lowered insurance payments for city workers. Council member Kim Rafferty cast the lone vote in opposition to the final version, complaining that the process was too rushed.
- Bryant, Joseph D. (May 10, 2011) "Birmingham mayor proposes budget for 2012 with no revenue growth." Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (June 11, 2011) "Birmingham budget talks: Council makes cuts, then adds wish list." Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (June 22, 2011) "Birmingham City Council passes budget that includes loan, reserve funds." Birmingham News