Jefferson County commissioners last week failed to support a measure that would have explored whether the county could sell $26.8 million of recovery zone economic development bonds for public capital projects allocated to it under the federal stimulus program.

Most commissioners said the county was not in a position to borrow, citing $3.2 billion of sewer debt it cannot repay and other obligations.

Two weeks ago, commissioners voted to declare the entire county a recovery zone to qualify for the issuance of the debt, which includes another $40.2 million of recovery zone facility bonds for private sector projects.

The county’s $26.8 million allocation may ultimately be used by another city in the county, which includes Birmingham.

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