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Ala.’s Jefferson County emerges from bankruptcy

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Jefferson County, Ala., 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.

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