Jefferson County picks audit firm

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County Commissioners plan to spend $647,000 to determine exactly what are their finances.

Wednesday, the county's finance committee sent out a contract for Warren, Averett, Kimbrough and Marino. Commissioners said the audit is critical for any possible settlement of the county's $3 billion sewer debt.

"Very critical," Jim Carns, Jefferson County Commissioner said.  "I've been waiting on it. We've needed it. It coming. I'm glad we are moving forward with it."

The commission will vote on the contract next week. The firm will audit finances for Jefferson County for 2008. The firm could be paid more for audits in 2009 and 2010.

"It's a lot of money, but there is a lot of money to be done," Bobby Humphreys, Jefferson  Co. Commissioner said.  "There is a lot money. There is a lot of work to be done. We are a little bit behind. Hopefully they can be caught up."

Warren Averett promised ot have the audit down by late November. This was the earliest of all of those seeking the contract.

"We have to have that to redo bond for a sewer deal," Carns said.

Tuesday Jefferson Co. Commission President Bettye Fine Collins said she believed a sewer bond settlement can be reached before the new commission takes office in November.

"This commission can have something before it," Collins said. "The details can be worked out by the new commissions."

"I share that hope," Commissioner George Bowman said. "If we can settle this and get a solution on the table before this commission leaves office I think it will help tremendously."

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