During the 6 p.m. City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 12, the Tuscaloosa City Council approved the resolution in support of the Restart Tuscaloosa plan by a vote of 5-2.
The Restart Tuscaloosa plan is a strategic initiative to invest $15 million in public safety, neighborhoods, small businesses, experiences and local agencies to help the City recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the economy on an international scale, and every local municipality in the U.S. will feel this impact for years to come,” Mayor Maddox said. “Restart Tuscaloosa will work as a catalyst to jumpstart Tuscaloosa’s economy by setting a strong foundation for Tuscaloosa businesses and residents.”
Restart Tuscaloosa will invest:
- $4 million into the City’s police and fire departments for the purchase of equipment, vehicles and technology;
- $7 million into neighborhood street resurfacing and curb/gutter and sidewalk rehabilitation;
- $1 million into the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Relief Fund;
- and $3 million into Tuscaloosa’s experience economy (live music events, festivals and sports).
The council also approved the use of a $484,268 federal Housing and Urban Development Grant to support local agencies that have worked to prevent, prepare for, or respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
“I applaud Mayor Maddox and the City Council for understanding the gravity of the situation facing small businesses and taking bold action to help them weather this financial storm,” Jim Page, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama says. “The Chamber is proud to have assisted 115 businesses through the Small Business Relief Fund so far, and this additional funding will be a significant lifeline for so many more.”
President and CEO of Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports, Don Staley, adds, “the Restart Tuscaloosa resolution passing is huge for our city. With the injection of these funds into arts & entertainment, Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports is ready to hit the ground running to take advantage of new opportunities to bring visitors to our great city.”
The funding mechanism for the plan was tabled on May 12, and will be voted on during the May 19 Council meeting. The full resolution can be downloaded at Tuscaloosa.com/Restart.