Homewood Rising; A Birmingham suburb continuing to thrive
Posted on Oct 09, 2012 in Features
I’ve written a good bit about the city of Homewood over the last few years, and it is not without merit. Over the last decade the city has undergone a face-lift that would make Joan Rivers blush.
Yes Homewood is rising.
The city of Birmingham, one that has seen its fair share of political upheaval in the recent decades, could learn a few things from its neighbor over the hill. The 2012-2013 budget went into effect on October 1 and the city of Homewood is looking to move forward on several projects to take the suburb to the next level.
“One thing we will continue doing is building sidewalks in the city of Homewood. The city council has assigned $900,000 towards building sidewalks in neighborhoods where there are currently none and another $100,000 will go towards repairing existing sidewalks,” explained Scott McBrayer, the mayor of Homewood.
Since there was a surplus in the budget last year, the city has decided to put that money to good use by funding projects to improve the sidewalks and even funding a project to build a pedestrian bridge over the permanently congested traffic jam that is highway 280.
“There is one project that I put money in, and I believe will pass, is the deal with Alabama Department of Transportation. One of the things we are looking at doing is building a pedestrian’s bridge over 280, so that residents can walk back and forth without getting into the street. That’s a deal, actually, where the city of Homewood, Mountain Brook and Birmingham is trying to do,” McBrayer went on to say.
Homewood is an interesting case study, the small town bubble over the hill that has managed to steer clear of the corruption and political underhandedness that has plagued Birmingham for a generation now. The town has seen a boom in small business and entrepreneurship over the last few years, and still has managed to walk the line eloquently between a small town and a suburb. Anyone who has not gone up over the hill and checked out what this small town suburb has to offer should definitely do so to take advantage of shopping, food stops and the friendly neighborhood feel this town has to offer. Not to mention that the view of Vulcan’s posterior is simply breathtaking.
The city has much to offer students and is primed to be a place where the oncoming tsunami of students UAB is expecting over the next few years could potentially call home.
Another plan that Homewood has implemented that is worth noting is the merit based system for all city employees, an interesting concept that could yield a sense of competitiveness that would only benefit the city and its residents. The case study of Homewood is one that we could all learn something from, a city that has kept its palms clean from nitty-gritty corruption and shadiness, while maintaining a surplus in its budget. In these dire economic times we are just now coming out of, perhaps we should look to communities like Homewood and figure out how they do it.
Personally, I think it starts from the inside out like electing officials like Scott McBrayer who know that the only way to move forward is to work together, for the greater good. That and smart budgeting. Take notes, Birmingham, or else you may become the suburb over the hill.