Tag: Jefferson County Commission

JeffCo Commission Picks Up Where Feds Left Off, Will Pay for COVID Time Off

Today, Jefferson County picked up where the federal government left off, covering the cost of employees taking off because they’ve been exposed to or contracted the novel coronavirus. Following its committee meeting today, commissioners reconvened their Jan. 7 commission meeting to retroactively extend what had been provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Read more.

Rising COVID Cases Send JeffCo Commission Back to Virtual Meetings

Jefferson County commissioners conducted their regular committee meeting Tuesday in the new normal way, returning to a virtual platform. With hospitalizations climbing to unprecedented levels, county leaders invoked Section 3 of the emergency declaration they enacted March 16 to permit virtual meetings. Read more.

Jeffco Commission Removes Cares Act Funding for Mission Alabama

Lashunda Scales removed Mission Alabama from the entities getting Cares Act funds on Thursday during in the final meeting of the Jefferson County Commission for 2020.

All of the federal money allotted to help entities deal with the challenges of the novel coronavirus pandemic were to have been allotted prior to Dec. 30. The commission is not scheduled to have another meeting before then.

During their committee meeting on Tuesday, commissioners talked about the primary contractors –- Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity (JCCEO) and Birmingham Urban League –- involved in assisting residents with utility bills and mortgages. Mission Alabama was also included on today’s meeting agenda to be in line for funds.
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Jeffco Commission to Consider Mortgage Assistance

The Jefferson County Commission is expected Thursday to amend its disbursement of Cares Act funds to include mortgage assistance for residents adversely affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

At their last meeting, commissioners approved federal funds for use in helping residents with COVID-related expenses related to rent and utilities.

“We’d like to amend that moving forward to include mortgage assistance also,” Commission President Jimmie Stephens said Tuesday. “This truly expands the scope of help to include all of our citizens. It is much needed and necessary. I think this is something that will extend the reach of our COVID funds and allow us to help many, many more people.”
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Commission OKs Cares Act Funding in Quick Session

Tuesday’s committee meeting of the Jefferson County Commission was so fast you would have thought commissioners were trying to beat a deadline.

In a sense, they were. As they have for months, commissioners continued their efforts to dole out federal funds related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The light agenda included 18 resolutions from county manager Tony Petelos to distribute Cares Act funds to help cities, towns and entities in the county address needs of citizens that arose from COVID-19. Petelos said the items that were moved to Thursday’s meeting agenda leave just a few who have not gotten requested money. “We’ll have those next meeting,” Petelos said. Read more.

Jefferson County Schools Plan to Expand Broadband to Serve Students Learning Virtually

Help is on the way for remote learners who have had little to no access to Wi-Fi. Meeting in Bessemer Thursday, the Jefferson County Commission amended the Cares Act Coronavirus Relief Fund subgrant agreement with the Jefferson County Board of Education to award an additional $4,648,600 to expand broadband capacity to reach students taking classes virtually. Read more.

Jeffco Commission to Dip Into Contingency Fund Rather Than Amending Budget

Rather than adding to the just approved fiscal 2021 budget, Jefferson County Commissioners said Tuesday that money called for from a recent classification survey would come from the county’s contingency fund.

Chief Financial Officer Angela Dixon presented a resolution for an increase in funds related to a community development specialist position. The survey called for additional funds totaling $119,280.

“We’re in a brand-new budget,” Commissioner Steve Ammons said. “Why would this survey not be done prior to us doing the budget so we don’t have a budget amendment just 45 days into the budget?”

Commission President Jimmie Stephens moved to change the funding request, with the money coming from the commission’s contingency fund rather than the balance of the budget.
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Jefferson County Commission Opens Courthouses for Saturday Absentee Voting

The courthouses in Birmingham and Bessemer will be open for in-person absentee voting the next two Saturdays, Oct. 17 and Oct. 24.

The move comes in response to long lines and wait times to cast absentee ballots in person in recent weeks. Jefferson County Probate Judge James Naftel said that, as of Wednesday, the county was processing more than 25,000 absentee ballots and ballot applications. That’s compared to about 10,500 absentee ballots cast in the 2016 general election. Read more.