Bessemer Justice Center not to open anytime soon

BESSEMER, AL (WBRC) - The finishing touches are underway on Bessemer's Justice Center.

Cleaning crews should be finished in about two weeks. Still there are no plans to open the almost $40 million building. "At this point because of the financial condition of the county we have got to see what kind of revenues we are bring in after January with the new occupational tax and business law tax we bring in," William Bell, Jefferson County Commissioner said.

Commissioner Bell was not on the commission when the project was approved. Commission President Bettye Fine Collins questioned the building from the beginning."Certainly hindsight is 20 20. Certainly the decision about that building was premature," Collins said.
Jefferson County taxpayers who pass the building every day wonder why the county spent the money to build the courthouse if they were not going to staff it."I think it's was an excellent idea to build the courthouse but if they don't have the money to staff it I don't think it should have been built," Keith Preston said.

"I think it's terrible. I hope they get the money and get the people back to work and everything," Sandra Robinson said.

Even though Jefferson County Workers are returning off of administrative leave without pay next week and tax dollars are flowing again into county coffers, there are no plans to staff and open the justice center."I don't know. You will have to have psychic powers. All we are doing is trying to survive. I can't project what will happen to that building," Collins said.