Metro Roundup: debate begins on Homewood’s entertainment districts


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Following the recent approval of an entertainment district in downtown Homewood, the city has begun discussions to ask the state legislature to grant two new districts, one in the business district of ‘Edgewood and the other in the West Homewood business district, sparking debate among community members.

The city is currently licensed under state law to have two entertainment districts and already has one that includes what is commonly referred to as downtown Homewood. Instead of choosing between Edgewood and West Homewood for the second district, the city is looking to get state lawmakers to approve an additional district.

The city’s Public Safety Committee was the first to discuss the move and garnered mostly negative comments from Edgewood residents.

One parent said the committee needs to consider how many children not only live in Edgewood, but how many frequent the included stores and restaurants in the proposed neighborhood, while another asked the committee to take residents’ concerns into account. of the region.

Committee chairman Andy Gwaltney said the district would not be announced, but a resident said news of the district would spread.

Entertainment districts allow licensed liquor businesses to obtain a license that allows the consumption of alcoholic beverages off-premises, allowing customers to purchase a beverage and walk around the neighborhood. No alcohol can be brought into the district and the council will later set timetables and other guidelines.

The committee recommended approval to ask the legislature to approve the two entertainment districts.

Finance Committee

On the finance committee, Jennie Whitman, CFO of the Birmingham Zoo, spoke about reaching an agreement on what the city could receive from the zoo for its contributions, which have gone from $ 25,000 to $ 10,000. last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While a “Homewood Day” has existed in the past, allowing residents to enter the zoo for free, there must be a “conversation” about possible discounts or other returns on the town’s investment, a Whitman said.

Without wanting to harm the city, Whitman said the zoo doesn’t want to harm its overall operations.

The committee authorized Mayor Patrick McClusky to sign a Fiscal Year 2022 fund-sending contract to the zoo and said it could later negotiate how much will be donated to the organization.

The committee also heard from Trane, who proposed to replace the town hall cooler at a cost of about $ 1.5 million, with an additional $ 23,000 per year for operating costs.

The current unit is a “dinosaur,” Trane representatives said. The company would be responsible for maintaining the unit.

Committee chairman Walter Jones said he would rather make a one-time purchase using federal funds rather than finance the purchase.

In other news, the committee:

  • Heard an update on Homewood Chamber of Commerce initiatives from Chamber Executive Director Meredith Drennen
  • Heard an update on the 18the Street revitalization project. City officials hope to receive federal clearance to proceed in December
  • Rejected an offer of $ 423,000 with Dunn Construction for improvement work on the Old Montgomery Freeway. Because Dunn was the only bidder for the project, the city can negotiate the price before approving the final contract.
  • Recommended approval of an offer of $ 13,750 with Flock cameras for five security cameras. The cameras cost $ 12,500 per year with an installation fee of $ 1,250 the first year, Police Chief Tim Ross said.
  • Agreed to accept offers at 4:30 p.m. on December 20 for mowing and landscaping services on state rights-of-way in the city
  • Recommended approval of a $ 42,100 contract with Sain Associates for design services for the Mecca Avenue sidewalk project
  • Recommended approval of a $ 37,700 contract with Schoel Engineering for design services for a stormwater project on Kenilworth Drive
  • Recommended that the city accept offers at 10 a.m. on December 7 for an 18e Alley improvement project

Public works

The Public Works Committee met briefly to hear an update on the revitalization of the Green Springs Highway. Temporary tracing and paving were to be done last week. The committee also recommended the approval of a bus shelter from the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority at 2601 18e St. S., at the expense of the transport company.

Special issues

The Special Issues Committee approved a public hearing on November 22 regarding the removal of five protected trees from 1505 Manhattan St., nine protected trees from 1796 Murray Hill Road and six protected trees from 908 Shades Road.

The committee also postponed consideration of a request for the city to evacuate part of an unnamed lane between 1703 Shades Park Drive and 1610 Shades Park Cove.

Planning and Development Committee

The Planning and Development Committee recommended that a public hearing be held on December 6 at 6 p.m. to consider the possible zoning change of 1832 25th Court South from an institutional neighborhood to a neighborhood preservation neighborhood, which would allow for the renovation. of a single non-compliant building. family home on the property.

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