New budget would bring employees back Oct. 10

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County Commission President Bettye Fine Collins presented a 2010 budget proposal Wednesday that would bring more than 700 employees currently on administrative leave and reopen at least some of the satellite courthouses on Oct. 10.

Collins presented the budget proposal to the commissioners during the commission meeting Wednesday morning.  The budget could be approved as early as next week.

Collins said the proposed budget, which if passed next week would take effect Oct. 1, would allow more than 700 county workers currently on administrative leave without pay to return to work and would allow the county to reopen some, if not all, of the satellite courthouses.

More than 1,000 county employees were placed on administrative leave without pay last month as part of a plan by the county to balance its budget without the county's occupational tax.  About 200 of the 1,000 employees have since been brought back to work.

The Alabama legislature passed a new occupational tax four weeks ago, and Collins said this new budget includes revenue expected from the new tax.

The proposed budget for fiscal 2010 totals $808 million, down from $836 million for the current fiscal year.

Collins said the commission would discuss whether or not to reopen all of the satellite courthouses.  Collins said the satellite courthouse on Greensprings Highway would certainly reopen due to the large amount of volume it produces, but said commissioners would discuss whether or not to reopen the other three satellite courthouses in Center Point, Gardendale and Forestdale.