$150 million bond referendum aimed to help streets, parks - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

$150 million bond referendum aimed to help streets, parks

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -


The Magic City is ready for a few renovations. Voters said yes to all six propositions of a $150 million bond referendum - giving the city a chance to make a few upgrades. But what exactly will that $150 million cover? 

The proposal is 12 pages long, to be exact. We poured over the lengthy wish list - it outlines projects city leaders say we need. In fact, added together, those needs total almost $200 million.

The basketball courts at Grayson Park off five mile road are rarely empty. 

"It's everything," Cortney Jeffries, who visits Grayson Park said. "I've been coming to this park for 21 years."

It hasn't been renovated since the 1960's leaving cracked courts and damaged playground equipment.

"We need the court paved, and little stuff like the water fountain hasn't been working in about three years, the pool is looking really raggedy right now," Jeffries said.

Their park is on the city's list of projects.

"There would be a lot more people coming here, I know that," Tavares Williams, who visits Grayson Park said.

For public facilities the city is talking almost $69 million for everything from police station renovations, to library repairs, and software upgrades.

"The public can basically see their money go to work for them within say 90-100 days," Mayor William Bell said on Monday. 

But the rubber meets the road when you see the long list of streets needing repair - $77 million worth, to be exact.

"When you come down this road, surely you can almost knock your car out of alignment," LaShunda Scales, City Councilor, District 1 said.

Councilor LaShunda Scales says, the damaged roads in her district are even creating accidents.

"Five Mile Road which is where we are today, has not been paved in so long and the reason it floods in this area is due to the Five Mile Creek," Scales said.

"Messed up, torn up like it is right now - you dodge every bump, run over rocks in the roads," Tae Thomas, who lives in Birmingham said.

"The first 75 million will be issued within the first year to do needed infrastructure work," Mayor Bell said. "The second won't be issued until 3-5 years from now."

The proposal also details economic development options, like an inter modal transit, and Civil Rights Institute upgrades. And after last year's tornado debris cleanup, city leaders say they need to make more room in the landfill. Many of these items must be voted on by the city council over the next several months.

 

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