Observer Corps Report
Jefferson County Commission
On September 28 the Commission approved a budget of $627 million for the fiscal year beginning October 1. They also voted to allocate up to $28.5 million for renovations at Cooper Green Hospital.
During the October 6 meeting Commissioner Larry Langford revealed new ideas for revitalizing downtown Birmingham. He has asked Wachovia Bank to commit $5 million for 30 years toward building a domed stadium that would be located at the site of the abandoned Sears building and Cabana Hotel. His vision includes a partnership with the city to revive the old trolley system to serve downtown Birmingham and the suburbs.
Commissioner White has finalized a contract with Storm Reconstruction Services to pick up debris left by tropical storm Ivan. This firm was the only bidder for the contract estimated at $2.3 million. The county will recoup approximately 85% of the cost from FEMA and the state.
The Commission also approved $1.5 million to keep county courts running due to shortfalls in State funding. Commissioner Collins suggested they consider funding only the criminal courts, since this is the second year the County has had to make up the deficit. More than half of the revenue from increased court filing fees that was supposed to fund the courts was diverted to the State General Fund. Collins believes letting the civil court system clog up will get attention.