Collins: New hope in financial crisis

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Commission President Bettye Fine Collins announced Wednesday the county is now seeking to get a line of credit from Regions Bank instead of a loan.

"We now believe we just need a line of credit," Collins said. "We won't draw down unless we have to. I think that will put a different perspective on this."

Collins said the line of credit, which could be up to $25 million, will be easier and cheaper for taxpayers.

Commissioner Bobby Humphryes said he would support the change if it helps bring the county's operation back to normal and brings county workers back to work sooner than Oct. 10th.

"Obviously, I'd be yelling you can't borrow your way out of debt," Humphryes said. "I'm willing to make an exception if it gets our employees back to work."

Commissioner Jim Carns said Regions Bank officials are asking questions about the county possibly declaring bankruptcy.

"I'm sure if I was on the board of directors, that would be something I'd be asking," Carns said. "I'm sure they have emails from stockholders asking they go slow."

Commissioner Collins said she continues to oppose bankruptcy as an answer to the county's financial crisis.

"Why would we be talking about bankruptcy when we obviously believe we will have enough funds coming in next year to operate the courthouse and at least some of the satellites?" Collins said.