Jefferson County close on payroll

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County may make payroll this week, but it could be close.

County workers went back on the job October 10th after being placed on administrative leave without pay back in August. This week's payroll will be the first since their return.

"I'm confident our projections are on target," said Commission President Bettye Fine Collins.  "I'm confident we will be able to cover that. I have no idea what the cash left behind will be."

Jefferson County finance officials continue to say tax dollars are not coming in as expected. Still, Commissioner Bobby Humphryes, who oversees the county's largest department, Roads and Transportation, wants more information about revenues to get his workers back on a 40-hour work week.

"If payroll wasn't a 100 percent we couldn't make payroll," Humphryes said. "I wasn't willing to take that chance over the lack of a hundred dollars. No one would get a paycheck that week. I'm trying to be cautious."

Because of questions over county finances, Collins said she hopes to keep most employees on 32-hour work weeks until January, if not longer, but Humphryes said that is not fair.

"I don't think we can justify trying to keep people off or on 32 hours for that long," Humphryes said.

Commissioner Jim Carns said the county needs to cautious.

"Before we go and get fully turned up where we were, we need a rainy day fund," Carns said. "We need to have some reserves."