Category: Jefferson County Commission

Not Us: JeffCo Commissioners Not Responsible for JCCEO

Jefferson County Commission talked about media reports that said the commission was taking action regarding the nonprofit Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity.

Commission President Jimmie Stephens made it clear that is not the case.

“The commission has no purview over any nonprofit organizations in the county, much less the JCCEO,” Stephens said following the meeting. Read more.

JeffCo Commission Discusses Rescue Spending

The Jefferson County Commission is considering how to spend money coming in as part of Phase 1 of the American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The commission began that discussion Tuesday, although the federal government has not yet issued the final guidelines for spending under that act. County staff devised the current plan using the preliminary guidelines, Justin Smith, an assistant to the county manager, told commissioners.

“We’re trying to get some money out immediately pending the receipt of that final guidance using the interim guidance that has been provided by the Treasury,” Smith said. “We don’t want to put all our eggs into one basket this time because things are going to change once that final guidance comes out. Read more.

Also in the Jefferson County Commission:

Not Us: JeffCo Commissioners Not Responsible for JCCEO

JeffCo Commission Announces $1.1 Billion Deal With Smucker’s

The Jefferson County Commission announced Thursday the largest economic development project in the history of the region.

J.M. Smucker Co. will build a manufacturing facility in McCalla at the Jefferson Metropolitan Industrial Park to support its growing Smucker’s Uncrustables line. The $1.1 billion capital investment will bring 750 high-wage jobs to the community.

The development will be about 1½ miles from the Jefferson-Tuscaloosa counties line on old U.S. 11 between exits 100 and 104 of Interstate 20/59. Smucker’s project manager Brad Borkowski said excavation will begin Nov. 29, and the first sellable products are to roll out in May 2024.

The McCalla plant will be one of three the company has producing Uncrustables, a fruit and peanut butter pocket pastry.

“Smucker’s is coming to Jefferson County,” Commissioner Steve Ammons said in the announcement. “Now I can tell you it’s a sweet deal.” Read more.

JeffCo Commissioners Excited to Talk Smack After Thursday Development Vote

Jefferson County Commissioner Steve Ammons was very careful when asked if a “sweet” deal was on its way to Jefferson County.

“I’m not going there,” he said following Tuesday’s commission committee meeting. “I can neither confirm nor deny.”

Commissioners moved to Thursday’s agenda three resolutions related to a business development that plans to come to Jefferson Metropolitan Industrial Park in McCalla.

“I’d say it’s a very good deal for everybody,” he said following today’s commission committee meeting, adding that while there has been some press about the development, identified on the agenda as Project 6449, county officials are under a non-disclosure agreement until the deal is done on Thursday.

Ammons was referring to a Birmingham Business Journal article that said public records show 6449 LLC shares an address — One Strawberry Lane in Orrville, Ohio — with the corporate headquarters of J.M. Smucker Co., a major producer of jam, jelly, peanut butter and other food and drink products.

“It’s gonna be a good day,” Ammons, the chair of the commission’s economic development committee, said of Thursday’s announcement. “I am so stinking excited. I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for Thursday for the last three or four months, excited about what this means for Jefferson County.” Read more.

Jeffco Commission Approves $500,000 for USFL, Plan to Adjust District Lines

The Jefferson County Commission on Thursday unceremoniously approved providing $500,000 to help bring the United States Football League to Birmingham.

With much more consternation, commissioners settled on a plan for redrawing commission district lines.

The USFL money, which will pay for personnel to operate Protective Stadium on game days, was passed without discussion, along with 48 other resolutions on the agenda. The City of Birmingham also will provide $500,000 to aid the USFL operation.

Most of the meeting was comprised of a public hearing discussing three options for redrawing commission district lines to reflect changes in the population of the districts. Lines are adjusted every 10 years to keep populations of the districts as even as possible.

Commissioners voted 4-1 for a plan that Commissioner Steve Ammons said was needed without making additional changes. He noted that Districts 3, 4 and 5 were the same in each plan.
Read more.

JeffCo Considers Kicking in $500K to Bring USFL to Birmingham

Jefferson County commissioners will give final consideration Thursday to a proposal to chip in $500,000 to bring the USFL headquarters and teams to Birmingham. They’ll also take up maps for new commission districts. In Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners also said efforts to get a disaster declaration approved for Oct. 5 flooding are proceeding and discussed other topics. Read more.

Tyson Assures Ensley Residents She’s Not Trying to Get Rid of Them in Commission Redistricting

Commissioner Sheila Tyson said today she has fielded phone calls from Ensley residents who think she’s trying to cut them from the Jefferson County district she represents.

Nothing could be further from the truth, she said during a brief meeting of the commission at the Bessemer Justice Center.

“It wasn’t that if you’re underpopulated, you try to get rid of what you’ve got,” Tyson said. “It makes no sense. I just wanted to straighten that up.”

During the Oct. 5 commission committee meeting, Board of Registrars Chairman Barry Stephenson presented three plans for evenly distributing the county population between its five districts using 2020 U.S. Census numbers.

Commissioners advanced all three maps for public review. A hearing on the plans will be conducted during the Nov. 4 commission meeting. Read more.

JeffCo Commission Seeks Info About Relief Fund Status

Jefferson County commissioners said during their committee meeting Tuesday that they want to be informed about federal rescue funds that they ultimately will be asked to approve.

Commission President Jimmie Stephens told County Manager Cal Markert that the commission wants to know who has applied for the latest brand of COVID funds from the federal government and where those applications are in the system of approval.

The commission also heard an update on the talks about the USFL being reestablished with its headquarters in Birmingham. Read more.

Stephens Left as Last Man Sitting, Recesses JeffCo Commission After Other Commissioners Had to Bolt

They say it’s lonely at the top. As Thursday’s meeting of the Jefferson County Commission neared its end, it was lonely on the dais.

Commission President Jimmie Stephens was the only commissioner remaining after others were either absent or had to leave because of other commitments.

“I guess I’m the last man standing on this particular deal,” Stephens said after recessing the session. “This is not the pattern, practice or the way we do business. We have commissioners who had other commitments, and this did run over very long. We wanted to give the citizens an opportunity to speak.

“At the end of that, we did do what was needed and necessary to take care of the business of the county,” he continued. “We’ll have a full quorum next meeting and continue the operations and business.” Read more.

JeffCo Commissioners Begin Redrawing District Lines

The give-and-take of county government will be apparent in coming weeks as Jefferson County commissioners consider how lines separating the five districts will be redrawn.

Board of Registrars Chairman Barry Stephenson made a presentation during the commission’s committee meeting Tuesday, showing commissioners maps for three options for evenly distributing the county population using 2020 U.S. Census numbers.

Commissioners, following the advice of Stephenson, will advance all three maps for public review. A hearing on the plans will be conducted during the Nov. 4 commission meeting. Read more.