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Bell also gave an overview of successes from 2013, including the new Regions Park baseball stadium, popularity of Railroad Park and the All America City designation.
the mayor is initiating that combines community and economic development in all of our neighborhoods which leverages public private partnerships, which are on the rise," Bell's chief of staff, Chuck Faush said in an interview.
Birmingham to become 'the next great southern city' Mayor William Bell declares in State of the City Updated
It was in the question and answer portion of the presentation, near the end, that Bell made his first public statements regarding the Birmingham Water Works and proposed bills to change its composition and operation.
"Over the next five years we expect to grow this city by 10,000 residents," Bell said.
Bell this afternoon outlined an optimistic agenda for 2014, which includes an emphasis on partnerships for community reinvestment and economic development.
A major theme involved land banking and streamlined city services, including code enforcement and demolition, in an upcoming initiative called RISE.
A dramatic display of police cars, mounted patrol and a mobile Adidas Los Angeles Camouflage observation tower on Fourth Avenue, just outside the Harbert Center, illustrated Bell's focus on public safety improvements.
Bell's office is also working to form other new partnerships, including a police foundation to provide matching funds for grants and help raise money to support the department.
Bell, answering a question from attorney J. Mason Davis, said he opposed changes to the board's size and appointment, but said other elements in the bill, including pay caps for the board and tighter Ethics Commission oversight were reasonable.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama Birmingham is on the way to becoming the "next great southern city," with the first projected population growth in decades, Mayor William Bell told a downtown audience gathered for his annual 'State of the City' address.
(FILE PHOTO/Joe Songer The Birmingham News)
"That's our commitment to public safety. We don't just want to have neighborhoods that look appealing. We want them to be safe."
Land banking, which was approved in the last legislative session, will allow the city to compile long neglected lots for redevelopment large and small. One element includes allowing nearby residents to take over vacant land, care for it for three years, then assume ownership. The value of the lot would then belong to the new caretaker.
"Believe me, there's a greater plan to how you move forward," he said.
He said that goal will be reached through planning and redevelopment.
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He spoke before the Birmingham Kiwanis Club at the Harbert Center downtown.
"Is it where we want it to be? No, but it still is going down," he said of the crime Adidas Originals Sneakers New
Bell also implored the room filled with business and civic leaders to remain positive, avoid negative perceptions and instead come directly to him with problems.
"There is a strategic, comprehensive effort that Adidas Los Angeles Original
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