Commission President Bettye Fine Collins wants Jefferson County to remain part of the Storm Water Management Authority. However, a majority of her colleagues oppose the move. For almost 15 years, SWMA has monitored storm water runoff in Jefferson County and many of its smaller municipalities and kept those communities in compliance with the Clean Water Act. However, SWMA has draw opposition from developers who, through lobbying and legal channels, have fought to pull the organization apart.
If the county were to withdraw from the consortium, SWMA has said it would return 15 of its employees to the county's personnel system. The cost of reassuming those positions, Collins says, would be as much as $1.5 million per year, far more than the county's $400,000 annual contribution to the authority.