Jefferson County Commission

Groups Lining Up for Extra Funding as Budget Year Closes, Commissioner Warns

Joe Knight alerted his fellow Jefferson County commissioners Thursday that some entities are lining up for any money left over from the county’s fiscal 2022 budget.

Knight, chairman of the commission’s finance and budget committees, recalled two years ago responding to requests for financial help by putting those items into the next budget.

“That’s not the way to do it,” he said.

Acknowledging that things such as library operations and Crimestoppers are in the budget every year. “But there’s new requests that come in every year. They say ‘We want you to put this in the budget.’ We don’t,” Knight said. “But at the end of the fiscal year and before we close out the books, we see if we have money left over from last year. If we do, then we can consider maybe funding some of these or partially funding some of these requests. That’s what that’s about.”

The finance committee chairman said he hears all the time that “Jefferson County’s got plenty of money. Let’s ask for some. Being with the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, I’ll hear that a lot too,” he said. “Jefferson County’s got plenty of money. Well, we’ve got plenty of experience too. That’s the crux of it.”

Knight said there are fewer than 10 entities that are seeking assistance. He mentioned those requests at the end of today’s commission meeting.

“That’s why I wanted to put this out there today,” he said. “Let’s talk about it. What do you think on this one? What do you think on this one? We’ll have to bring it up and just talk about it.”

Thursday’s commission meeting was pretty uneventful as commissioners approved the 53 resolutions on their agenda. Before the scheduled meeting, the commission reconvened the Sept 9 meeting to reconsider a zoning item that was denied.

The application for the mixed housing development with duplexes and a large apartment building on Shannon Wenonah Road is being reconsidered with a public hearing set for Oct. 20. That meeting will be in Bessemer.