Birmingham's city council voted today to spend up to $350,000 to prevent major flooding from happening again on 41st Street in Avondale.
Last week the $350,000 in emergency storm sewer repairs for Avondale only got four of the five votes it needed to pass. The feeling then was that the councilors who voted against it last week did so as a protest against Mayor Bell's refusal to put their now two-month overdue budget up for a vote.
The council president raised that same issue again Tuesday.
"We do have a budget, it's just not a current budget. I know you know that, it's just a matter of the mayor doing what the mayor-council act says," council president Roderick Royal said.
But the major holdup today appeared to be frustration by other council members who say they have flooding issues in their area that are not getting as much attention or quick action as the flooding in the trendy Avondale area.
"I just can't understand why that was not a part of what you're trying to do in the Avondale area. And if somebody could help me with that, I'd talk about it," Birmingham councilor Maxine Parker stated.
But the councilors who represent that district pleaded for action before another major rain event comes.
"We definitely need to move expeditiously to pass funding for this item because it's important to protect the integrity of our neighborhoods and our businesses," councilman Johnathan Austin urged.
And after almost 30 minutes of debate, the funding a contract to begin work passed.
"I'm going to support this item and have supported this item because of the condition of the road. And I hate that we can't have the same kind of urgency in other parts of the city," Royal said.
"Birmingham obviously has a lot of momentum right now and Avondale is kind of a microcosm of that momentum," Jay Smith, attorney for the Avondale Merchants, said.
"So we don't wanna do anything to stifle it, it sort of re-energized the neighborhood and we hope it continues to do so," Smith added.
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