Jefferson County, Ala., emerges from bankruptcy

Jefferson County, Ala., emerges from bankruptcy

December 4th, 2013 by Associated Press in Business Around the Region

Birmingham, Alabama

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Jefferson County has closed the sale of nearly $1.8 billion in new debt and emerged from the nation's second largest municipal bankruptcy.

Jefferson County Commission President David Carrington said the paperwork on the new debt was signed Tuesday. Commissioner Jimmy Stephens said a great weight has been lifted.

Jefferson County filed for bankruptcy in 2011, citing more than $4.2 billion in debt. It had been the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy until Detroit filed this year, citing $18 billion in debt. A federal judge approved Jefferson County's plan to exit bankruptcy last month, but it was conditioned on closing on the new debt Tuesday.

A group of residents is appealing the judge's approval of the county's plan.

The plan means higher rates for customers of the county sewer system.