Jefferson County looks toward new fiscal year

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - It's been a tough financial year for Jefferson County. This past fiscal year was highlighted by long lines at the county courthouses because more than 700 employees were placed on administrative leave without pay and all satellite courthouses were closed.  Commission President Bettye Fine Collins says the county's $808 million budget for the new fiscal year will be $28 million less than the previous year."Making ends meet. As in any family, you have to make sure you are careful with your spending and you stay within your budget," Collins said.
              
County workers are due back on October 10th and two satellite courthouses, Homewood and Centerpoint will open Oct. 17th. Commissioner Bobby Humphryes who oversees Roads and Transportation says not all road projects will be back on schedule.""Absolutely not all of them. We will have to prioritize. There will be very little equipment bought this year," Humphryes said.

Thursday, Jefferson Co. Sheriff Mike Hale will have to put 46 deputies on leave without pay. 20 of them will transfer to the Birmingham Police Department. Commissioner William Bell says the sheriff and other county departments need funding help."I've asked the commission to make the sheriff and coroner's office a priority for additional revenues. Either through a loan or increased revenues from the occupational tax," Bell said.
            
The county is trying to land a line of credit with Regions Bank. So far there is no word when that will happen. Jefferson County Commissioners admit it was rough year dealing with the financial crisis.

How glad are they to deal with a new fiscal year with new hopes? "I hope the next year will be a whole lot better. It won't be a whole lot better but it will be better."Humphryes said.  Collins says she expects that some county employees may lose their jobs in the coming year because of funding problems.