Alabama County Officials Delay Chapter 9 Decision Again

Officials have postponed a bankruptcy decision for Jefferson County, Alabama for the second time in two weeks. On Thursday, county commissioners again met with creditors in Birmingham, but did not make a decision on how to deal with the county's $3.14 billion debt as they continued to discuss a settlement. The county now says it will make a decision next Friday, Aug. 12.

One of the sticking points has been sewer rates, which have already increased by an astonishing 329% over the last decade, according to county commissioner George Brown.

The county's debt crisis, stemming from the financial fiasco associated with bonds sold for a new sewer system, has been unwinding for more than three years. Last week, the county commissioners agreed postpone a settlement or bankruptcy decision for a week after creditors made concessions.

Speaking for the Birmingham Business Alliance, James McManus II said he hoped the commissioners would be able to reach a settlement negotiation, rather than filing for bankruptcy.

"In a bankruptcy scenario, there can be no assurance the sewer rates will be lower than under a negotiated settlement and the county's ability to solve its general fund problems will likely be stymied," McManus said in a statement on Tuesday. "A bankruptcy is likely to impair economic development and job creation in this area for years to come," he warned.

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Richard

Solution, let the bondholders take over the sewer system, all the maintenance, upkeep, billing and apply the revenue to the debt until it is paid off, obviously the folks running the show now are idiots, got into the deal without understanding the facts and cost going forward, we have alot of that in this country, elected idiots making decisions they don't understand and blaming everyone else for the mess, look in the mirror, the idiot looking back at you is the problem.

August 05 2011 at 12:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
propackage

when someone has time, maybe evidence of good govenment can be brought to light. From everything that is said about current govenment, it is riddled with crime and ineffficientcy. Personally I do not see any evidence that government anywhere is doing what it is supposed to.

August 05 2011 at 6:59 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to propackage's comment
hgeorgech

All good reasons for term limits - for EVERY elected gov't position!

August 05 2011 at 8:45 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mbestfrnd

Corruption and fiscal irresponsibility has plagued Jefferson County and the City of Birmingham for years. Many elected officials are either in prison, have been there or belong there. The voters continue to elect the worst candidates possible at every turn. Middle class people, both black and white, have fled this area for years, leaving a large majority of poor and welfare scammers left to control politics. These people seem to think that corruption is a badge of honor. The previous mayor, who didn't even live in Birmingham, is now in Federal Prison for corruption while a county commissioner. He was known to be a thief before he was elected. The new mayor isn't much better. Maybe he is just more incompent. Business has fled this area because of corruption, poor government services, bad schools, high taxes and discrimination. There is little chance of attracting new business or even new citizens to this area because the uncertainty hanging over the sewer debt crisis and the other concerns mentioned. Bankruptcy has seemed to be the logical choice for years but the elected officials have ignored this choice for some unknown reason. I sure am glad that I was not fool enough to purchase any of their sewer bonds, but, then again, I am from Alabama and know what a stupid risk this would have been. I see little hope for this area which was once a busseling economic area. Now people flee like rats from a sinking ship. The population was down a great amount with this Cencus and ten years from now I am sure it will be even less. It has been a shame that in my lifetime I have watched this city and county crumble under the weight of the corruption and incompetence of its elected officials and voters.

August 05 2011 at 4:55 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
boutrousco

What a joke, joke, joke. These guys have been defaulting "next week " for 3 years. Can understand how the whole, incometent lot have not been recalled

August 05 2011 at 2:14 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply