JeffCo Commission still working to finalize 2013 budget | News
JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC)- Jefferson County Commissioners are moving around a lot of money in order to balance their $205 million budget.
Once again commissioners met today to work on finalizing the spending plan.
"We are like the little Dutch boy. We are plugging the dyke and right now we have it plugged but all the hands and toes are occupied," Jimmie Stephens, Jefferson County Commissioner, said.
The county faces a $23 million shortfall but commissioners plan to delay paying their general obligation bond debt to take out $15 million to pay bankruptcy attorneys as a way to fill the gap.
"We have scratched and clawed about as much as we can as far as our cuts. Employees have taken a hit. Department heads have had to do more with less," Joe Knight, Jefferson County Commissioner, said.
The county is hoping that their costs will drop in the future by moving Cooper Green Mercy Hospital to an outpatient clinic operation and selling the county-owned nursing home.
In the meantime, long lines remain at the courthouse and the county cannot afford to hire more employees. Commissioners are looking to do more services over the internet in the future to help fill the gaps.
"We have lost 800 over the last year. We are losing good employees every week. Every week, employees are finding jobs in other areas," Tony Petelos, Jefferson County Manager, said.
The new budget will restore merit pay praises in February 2013. The commission admits they are in trouble if another April 27 tornado or natural diaster hits.
"Just pray we don't have some type of natural disaster that we have to reach in and go because sources are not there this year," Stephens said.
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