New Bessemer courthouse may open soon

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County Commission President Bettye Fine Collins revealed Wednesday the new courthouse in Bessemer may open later this year.

The $39 million courthouse, nearly complete, has been sitting vacant for months due to budget restraints.  However, Collins said Wednesday the facility may open before the end of the year because the cost of updating the old courthouse and annex is too expensive.

"It's going to need heating. air conditioning units, it seemed reasonable to use the new facility," Collins said.

Collins said the old courthouse will be shutdown when the new one opens.

Not everyone agrees. Commissioner Bobby Humphryes, who represents Bessemer, said he believes there is enough money available to fund improvements to the older building.