The Birmingham Principal Shopping District (PSD) approved its tentative 2011-12 and 2012-13 budget Thursday morning at its monthly meeting, setting aside $998,000 for the upcoming fiscal year, and $1.01 million for 2012-13, in projected expenditures.
Expected revenues are $1,012,560 for fiscal year 2011-12, and $1,017,560 for 2012-13.
According to PSD Executive Director John Heiney, the budget will now be submitted to the City Manager for approval, and then move to the City Commission for the final go-ahead. The PSD follows the same budget-making process as the city, which will approve its 2011-12 budget in June.
Heiney said approximately 90 percent of PSD's funding comes from a special assessment tax on commercial properties in the principal shoppping district, while 10 percent is earned through special event revenues, including sponsorships and vendor fees.
Both budgets are an increase from the 2010-11 budget. Projected expentitures during this fiscal year are $981,846, while projected revenues are $983,880.
The biggest increase in expenditures comes in the personnel department. The PSD is asking for $231,940 for 2011-12 and $244,890 for 2012-13, up from $229,000 in 2010-11. Heiney said the increasing cost of employee health insurance is the biggest reason for the projected increase.
The PSD will be saving money on computers, with the amount dedicated to computer leases falling to $16,968 for both 2011-12 and 2012-13, down from $22,830 in 2010.
The amount requested for Maintenance and Capital Improvements will remain steady at $70,000 in the upcoming two years, with the city hoping to save money in a few areas.
“We expect to see some savings from the installation of LED lights,” Heiney said.
However, Heiney said administrative costs have held relatively steady during the past year, while special events—like the Farmer’s Market and Winter Markt—have brought in additional revenue for the city department.
New promotional video draws attention of national retailers
Also at the Jan. 6 meeting, Birmingham’s Retail Consultant Julie Fielder reported that a recent trip to New York to recruit national retailers for the downtown shopping district was a success.
“We had nine meetings with good responses,” Fielder said, “including requests for proposals (and) location information. We are in some stage of negotiations with 19 people.”
Fielder said the city’s key selling point was a new informational video, recently produced by the PSD. The two-minute video highlights the Birmingham lifestyle, its stores and people.
Heiney said he's happy with the video, stressing that it's key to conveying what Birmingham is all about to potential retailers.
"It's one thing to hear about Birmingham," he said. "We feel to see is to love it."