Category: Jefferson County Commission

Scales Proposing All Economic Development Spending Go Through Full Jefferson County Commission

Commissioner Lashunda Scales presented a resolution at the Jefferson County Commission’s committee meeting to bring all spending from the commission’s economic development fund before the full commission.

Scales’ resolution to consider the issue, which passed 2-1 with commissioner Joe Knight voting no, will be considered during Thursday’s commission meeting at the Bessemer Courthouse. Commissioner Steve Ammons, who chairs economic development, and President Jimmie Stephens were absent Tuesday.

“We’d just like to have transparency with the public,” Scales said. Read more.

Jefferson County Commission OKs Magic City Classic Funding; Scales’, Stephens’ Reasoning Took Them on the Same Path to Different Destinations

Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens and President Pro Tem Lashunda Scales are often on opposite sides of discussions.

In Thursday’s commission meeting, they once again wound up on different sides of the fence, but their sentiments were not as far apart as they might have appeared.

Stephens pulled for separate consideration resolutions allotting $100,000 apiece to Alabama A&M and Alabama State universities. That money is to assist in the promotion of the annual Magic City Classic football game.
Scales, Sheila Tyson and Joe Knight voted for the actions. Stephens abstained and Steve Ammons was absent. Read more.

UAB Asks JeffCo Commission to Support New Medical Research Building

Two high-ranking leaders from UAB today asked Jefferson County to invest with the Southside institution in making the Altec/Styslinger Genomic Medicine and Data Sciences Building a reality.

UAB President Ray Watts and Dr. Selwyn Vickers, the senior vice president for medicine and dean of the School of Medicine, asked commissioners during their committee meeting to consider putting $1 million per year for five years into the $70 million project.

The 140,000-square-foot building will house more than 50 research operations, which the pair said will produce annual revenue of $35 million to $55 million, or a total of $175 million to $300 million over five years.

But, they said, it’s not just about the money. Watts said the work there will lay the foundation for health care for the future of Birmingham, Jefferson County and beyond. Read more.

Ammons Fails in Move for More Discussion of Jeffco Budget

Commissioner Steve Ammons took one last shot Thusday at conducting more discussion concerning adjustments to the recently passed the budget for fiscal year 2020.

Ammons moved that the resolution approving amendments to the budget be set aside from the other 51 resolutions for separate consideration.

Commissioner Lashunda Scales offered a counter motion that all of the resolutions be considered as presented. The counter motion was passed on a 3-2 vote with Scales, Sheila Tyson and Joe Knight voting in favor; Ammons and Commission President Jimmie Stephens voted no.

Speaking later, Ammons repeated his concern that budget adjustments are coming a very short time after the budget was adopted in early August.
Read more.

Jefferson County Commissioners Quarrel Over Making Changes to New Budget

The recently passed fiscal 2020 budget was the subject of some terse discussion during the Jefferson County Commission’s committee meeting Tuesday.

Commissioner Joe Knight offered a resolution to move $250,000 from demolition to reserves and another $250,000 that had been listed in the public service fund to a project fund for transit.

Knight said there was no new money. The transit money was already there, he said.

The proposal prompted a lengthy discussion that addressed the lack of demolitions of derelict house and the prospect of 15 being torn done this year. Read more.

JeffCo Commissioner Wants Stadium Update, Questions Lack of Civil Rights Info in Bicentennial Video

Commissioner Lashunda Scales today asked for an update on Protective Stadium, which is being built near the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

Jefferson County invested $30 million in the project.

Scales said she had been told by someone on the stadium design committee that VIP seats are being added that would lower the total number of seats in the venue.

Also, commissioners saw a presentation from Helen Hays, the county’s director of public information, concerning efforts to promote the 200th anniversary of Jefferson County, including a pair of videos.

While the presentation appeared to be well received from most in the board room, Scales was less than satisfied, saying that the county’s story was not being fully told. She cited a Sloss Furnaces event on Monday that memorialized two men who were lynched in the 1890s. Read more.

Hallmark Cooperative Takes Control of Iconic Property in Warrior, Plans Development

Warrior Mayor Johnny Ragland is like a child looking forward to Christmas as he envisions Warrior’s Hallmark Farms development coming to fruition.

Considering the floating Christmas tree and decorated barn with which passersby had become familiar, that is understandable.

“Myself, I would love to have it next month,” Ragland said. “Two businesses over here. Five over here. But it takes time.”

Members of the Hallmark Cooperative announced today that it has officially taken control of the property just off Interstate 65 and nearly surrounded by Locust Fork, one of three major tributaries of the Black Warrior River.

Along with revealing the logo for the cooperative, which features the iconic barn on the property, cooperative members talked about what is to come to the area in north Jefferson County.

“We can bring as much as 720 jobs to just this property,” said Jefferson County Commissioner Steve Ammons, who is president of the cooperative. “That is a huge influx of daytime folks.” Read more.

Jefferson County Owes Medicare and Medicaid More Than $1 Million for Overpayments to Cooper Green Hospital

Jefferson County Commissioners learned during their committee meeting Monday that the county is on the hook for more than $1 million in back payments for Medicare and Medicaid that was overpaid when Cooper Green was a hospital.

The situation was uncovered as the result of an audit ordered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. The problem dates back to 2008. Read more.