The Birmingham City Council took a major step toward empowering neighborhood leaders to remove blight in their communities with the passage of an agreement with ToolBank USA Inc.
The agreement will help with the development of a 5,000-square-foot facility that will house thousands of tools and equipment that will be available for rent by community-based organizations to assist with projects. This was one of the first programs that multiple Councilors identified for use of their office’s ARPA funding.
Districts 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 all contributed funds for this program.
The funding will also allow for up to two full-time employees and one part-time employee to help with maintenance and answer questions people might have about the equipment they are renting. This service will be available for Neighborhood Associations and any not-for-profit to utilize.
“I want to express my excitement about this program,” President Pro Tem Crystal Smitherman said. “A lot of my colleagues have partnered together to make this possible. The mayor’s office helped a lot to make this more robust and to allow for more people and groups to access this. I’d also like to thank Councilor Clinton Woods who helped organize the ARPA pitch conversations that brought these groups together to outline how we could have the most impact with this federal funding. This was my favorite of all the projects because it really empowers our residents in a way that we haven’t seen before.”