Ala Governor in Talks Over County Financial Crisis

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Gov. Bob Riley is intervening in a crisis that has the state's largest county on the verge of bankruptcy.

Riley is scheduled to meet Friday in Montgomery with Jefferson County creditors. They'll discuss a $2 million interest payment that's coming due on its $3.2 billion sewer debt.

Barring an agreement or a payment, the county could go into default. That would put it another step closer to filing the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Jefferson County commissioners earlier this week authorized the governor to take a lead role in talks aimed at resolving the debt crisis. Leaders say they are trying to avoid more rate increases or tax hikes.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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