Center Point courthouse re-opens

Center Point courthouse re-opens

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The line stretched out the door at the Center Point courthouse Monday morning. Source: Alan Collins The line stretched out the door at the Center Point courthouse Monday morning. Source: Alan Collins
Inside the Center Point courthouse on Monday, April 16. Source: Alan Collins Inside the Center Point courthouse on Monday, April 16. Source: Alan Collins
CENTER POINT, AL (WBRC) -

Jefferson County re-opened the Center Point courthouse annex Monday morning in an attempt to relieve the long lines at the downtown Birmingham courthouse.

"I think it's a good idea. The downtown, the lines are longer than they are down here. It's good," Reverend Billy Crear, a Jefferson County resident, said.

The line at the Center Point courthouse stretched out the door Monday, with around 80 people sitting down inside and another ten waiting in line to get to the window, according to a tweet from FOX6 Reporter Alan Collins.

[Follow Alan Collins on Twitter @fox6alancollins]

There was free parking at the courthouse and seating for about 80 people inside. Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos was pleased with the first day.

"It went well. We didn't know what kind of crowd we would have. They came out early," Petelos said.

The line at the Birmingham courthouse did not go out into Linn Park as it did last week. But there were still lines of two or more hours in Center Point, an improvement on the average of four hours to wait in line for a tag at the downtown courthouse last week. 

"I'm all for it being open but it's not the answer if it's not a full staff and there are too many people waiting to get it," David Nix said.

Some taxpayers say more needs to be done.

"A lot of people work hard for what they get. To wait three hours in line, it's aggravating dealing with this," James Glass said.

Petelos understands the aggravation. The county did not hire additional workers but instead moved workers out of Birmingham and Bessemer courthouses because of the county's money troubles.

"We still have long lines. The difference is the line at the courthouse has been reduced somewhat," Petelos said.

The county manager and some taxpayers urged Alabama lawmakers to approve a replacement tax such as the occupational tax. This week in Montgomery the Jefferson County House delegation in committee is set to take up two different versions of job taxes for helping the county.

Jefferson County commissioners voted in March to reopen Center Point's annex.

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