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City Council pumps the brakes on Birmingham Southern College’s request for bailout

By Allie Root,


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham Southern College is forced to wait a little longer for help in their bailout requests. The school is in need of $37.5 million to survive.

The city council proposed a resolution, but it’s receiving pushback.

BSC is open for business now, but the city council says they understand that may not be the case for too much longer if help doesn’t start rolling in soon.

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City Councilors Hunter Williams and Carol Clarke brought what they call a resolution of intent to the table, signaling their support for the school.

Councilor Williams says BSC’s leadership has been very transparent throughout this process, and they want to find a way to assist them in this process.

Some councilors questioned the resolution’s relevance and stated concerns, but Councilor Williams says it will simply signal support initially and maybe entice other entities to help as well.

Some councilors say they felt blindsided by the proposal of this resolution and aren’t ready to move forward with it just yet, especially without specific information about the financial commitment.

Councilor Woods said he understands the passion behind it, but there are still too many questions without answers.

“I don’t begrudge them for that at all,” said Councilor Woods. “I think that we all have some passionate points, but I think that in this situation dealing with this amount of money and this amount of requests and this amount of uncertainty, that we really have to do as much due diligence as possible to put ourselves in the best position to make a decision.”

Councilor Williams said an exact dollar amount is not important right now, but a showing support is.

“When you have a large institution that has a great number of people, both living in Birmingham, a great economic impact for the city of Birmingham, but also might be the extra push for them to be successful in their fundraising for the longevity of the school,” said Councilor Williams.

The city council ultimately decided to move the vote to their next Committee of the Whole meeting in April.

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