Jefferson County satellite courthouses reopen

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - There was good news for some Jefferson County taxpayers Monday. The final two Jefferson County satellite courthouses opened up again in Forestdale and Gardendale.  

Among the first in line in Forestdale was Melvin Bynum of Graysville.  "Oh yeah, I have to renew my driver's license, I was second or third in line. That was good," Bynum said.

While most taxpayers were happy not to go downtown, there were issues.

"My wife has been standing in line for 45 minutes trying to get a handicapped sticker," said Michael Tombrello. "The line was not moving at all. There are nine people in there and four are working."

Another big issue for taxpayers was the fact the tax collector and tax assessor's office was not opened at the two satellite courthouses, which was bad news for folks trying to pay their year end property taxes.

"They said this morning there would be skeletal staffs, but they didn't say they wouldn't take the taxes," said Doris Mayfield.

"We are disappointed, we are glad they are open as much as they are," said Norman Mayfield.

People looking to pay their property taxpyers will have to go downtown or mail in their payments.

Meanwhile the Jefferson County Commission said Monday it is still struggling with it's finances. However, Commission President Bettye Fine Collins said despite additional costs, it's better for the county to open all four satellite courthouses.

"We were paying utilities," Collins said. "We were paying rent. It was wise we went to back to that operation."