BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — On Tuesday, the Birmingham City Council approved Mayor Randall Woodfin’s $15 million COVID-19 response plan to fund police, fire, public works and a stimulus program for small businesses affected by the pandemic Tuesday evening.
This comes as many emergency responders are working more amid the coronavirus outbreak and many small businesses are seeing a lag in sales.
“I want to thank the council for working with me to secure the funds for the city’s COVID-19 Response Plan,” Woodfin said. “This is an important message to the people of Birmingham. Through this funding, we are committed to providing a full response to COVID-19 with our police, fire and public works. Also, we have taken the first important step to launch an economic stimulus plan for our small businesses struggling during this pandemic.”
The city will utilize $15,165,333 from Birmingham’s General Fund Cash and Investment. This will not affect the current funding of city departments and agencies.
The funding approved will include:
- $547,133 for personal protective equipment and supplies for first responders (Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service, Birmingham Police Department, Department of Public Works)
- $2,638,200 for overtime (Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service, Birmingham Police Department, Department of Public Works)
- $880,000 for equipment and supplies to support increased teleworking to adhere to public health recommendations of social distancing (Information Management Systems Department)
- $1 million for a small business emergency loan fund
- $9.2 million to address the estimated budget shortfall for the next 60 days
In addition to the $1 million approved by the council Tuesday, the city’s Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity has identified an additional $200,000 for the fund. BhamStrong is also designed to include funds from philanthropic and corporate entities. The Birmingham City Council must consider additional action as early as next week to launch the program.
The COVID-19 Response Plan is the latest step by Woodfin and the City of Birmingham to address needs during the pandemic.
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