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.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Introduction to Economic Indicators

Measure the performance of the economy.

View Course »

Building Credit from Scratch

Start building

View Course »