Budget and Finance Committee Meeting Recap 1.8.18
On Monday, January 8th, the Budget and Finance Committee of the Birmingham City Council held its regularly scheduled meeting.
Here’s the video from the meeting:
Two significant infrastructure projects were discussed at the meeting: one at East Lake Park, and the other near the Farmers Market on Finley Avenue.
East Lake Park
The City of Birmingham has received a grant for $150,000 from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), to be used for parking, landscaping, sand volleyball courts, and clearing vegetation along the creek at East Lake Park. The City will need to match at $150,000 for a total project cost of $300,000. The Budget and Finance Committee voted to recommend this item to the full Council.
The City believes that East Lake Park can become a destination for residents and tourists, and that these upgrades will assist in welcoming and accommodating more visitors.
East Lake Park Trivia
The City of Birmingham displays the flags of the home countries of our sister cities on the 1st Avenue edge of the park. Our sister cities are:
- Hitachi, Japan
- Gweru, Zimbabwe
- Székesfehérvár, Hungary
- Guédiawaye, Senegal
- Pomiglian D’Arco, Italy
- Vinnitsa, Ukraine
- Anshan, China
- Plzeň, Czech Republic
- Al Karak, Jordan
- Winneba, Ghana
- Liverpool, England
- Maebashi, Japan
Finley Avenue Improvements
In order to increase ease of access to the Jefferson County Truck Growers Association Farmers Market off Finley Avenue, the Budget and Finance Committee voted to recommend an item to the full Council that would authorize the Mayor to execute a Funding Agreement for construction of an access road, including construction engineering and inspection during the course of construction, from Finley Blvd to Finley Avenue West.
The total project cost is estimated to be $750,000 and with the following breakdown of funding from partner organizations:
$50,000 to come from the Department of Agriculture
$125,000 to come from the Jefferson County Truck Growers Association
$200,000 to come from the State of Alabama
$300,000 to come from the Alabama Department of Transportation
$75,000 to come from the City of Birmingham.
According to the Jefferson County Truck Growers Association Farmers Market website:
“In 1921, produce growers in Jefferson County saw the need for a place to market their produce. Eighteen members met and formed the Jefferson County Truck Growers Association and chartered it with the State. By-laws were written and set up as a non-profit Corporation, and the organization remains so.
The market since that time has had six locations. It has been at its present location since 1956. The market is situated on 49 acres of land. The Alabama Farmers Market has warehouse space of 61 bays, each about 25 X 50 feet. These bays are rented to 14 dealers, selling all types of produce. We have 11 open sheds 30 X 200 feet, six of these sheds are reserved for Alabama Farmers only, two sheds are for retail produce dealers, and three sheds are for wholesale produce dealers.
The membership is now at 207 growers. In order to become a member of the Association, one must be a produce grower in the State of Alabama. The Alabama Farmers Market has members from as far north as Limestone County, to as far south as Geneva County.
The Alabama Farmers Market has nine members of the Board of Directors. All are produce growers, elected from the membership to three-year term. They will elect a President, Vice-President, and the Treasurer. They employ a Secretary-Manager for daily operation of the business. The Association has 20 employees, two maintain operation of the office, eight are security personnel, one on the yard and one at the gate at all times, six are clean up, two maintenance and one supervisor of the Flea Market.
The Alabama Farmers Market has its own compactor for disposal of garbage, and bailer for the disposal of cardboard. The total of employees of the Association and dealers are approximately 200 with an annual payroll of 2 million dollars.
The amount of produce sold on the Alabama Farmers Market is in excess of 350 million dollars, approximately 50 million in the state alone. Anyone growing produce is welcome to use this Market. The Alabama Farmers Market has between 2,000 and 2,500 farmers — large and small — who use this Market annually.
The Market is solely owned and operated by the Alabama farmers. It is fully self-supporting, receiving no outside funds.”