Bell delivers State of the City Address - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Bell delivers State of the City Address

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

"With all of us working together, I guarantee you Birmingham will have a brighter future, going forward, than we've ever had before" Mayor William Bell said.

Bell is very optimistic for 2013 both locally and globally.

"We're looking forward to the spotlight being on Birmingham to attract the world," he said.

Bell says in a year filled with high points, like the recent $150 million bond referendum that will be used for street repairs, Railroad Park's growing popularity, a strong emphasis on education and, of course, the new Baron's ballpark, what really gets him excited is the 50th anniversary commemorating civil rights.

"[We want people] to come and see who we are today," Bell said.

Not to stay in the past, but to show the city's present and, more importantly, it's future. And with thousands of people expected, he's also looking forward to all kinds of revenue.

"When we bring hundreds of thousands of visitors into this area, they come to our hotels, spend money at our restaurants and they shop at our stores," Bell said.

As for the new ballpark, it hit a little snag, Tuesday.

"I think we have given the Barons enough," City Council President, Roderick Royal, said.

Council says the city has given enough...$64 million to be exact.

And members say they're not ready to shell out millions more for things like furniture, a beer garden and an ice cream parlor. Bell says everything will come together.

"I want a facility that we all can be proud of," he said. "I want to have a facility that will accomplish the goals of making Birmingham a premiere destination and a premiere sports venue. And I think we're well on our way to do that."

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