Taxpayer makes case against surety bond - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Taxpayer makes case against surety bond

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - There was a courtroom showdown this afternoon between a Dougherty County taxpayer and officials in charge of downtown development. Each says the other is wasting your tax money.

Developer Tim Coley wants to stop ADICA and the City of Albany from issuing $6 Million in Bonds to revitalize downtown. He says the plans are too vague and taxpayers deserve more information. But ADICA says Coley is causing a delay that's costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Albany Dougherty Inner City Authority asked Judge Denise Marshall to require developer Tim Coley to front the money it could lose as Coley continues to appeal the validation of $6 Million in bonds for development.

Coley said, "The surety bond is for the delay that they say will take place because I've appealed the courts decision to validate the $6 Million bond issue for downtown redevelopment."

Basically, if Judge Marshall rules in ADICA's favor, Coley will have to post enough money to cover the increase in interest rates that has occurred during the time he has challenged their ability to issue those bonds... up to $606,000.

ADICA attorney Jay Reynolds said, "Georgia public lawsuits Act permits ADICA in this situation to ask the court to require Mr. Coley to post a bond for the purposes of protecting the public against increases in costs that occur by reason of the delay that's occasioned by the appeal."

Coley says if the Judge rules in favor of ADICA, his right of due process will essentially be striped.  He said, "It will do away with my possibility to appeal the decision because, obviously, I couldn't afford to lose $606,000 simply to appeal her decision to the Court of Appeals."

And if he doesn't post the money in 10 days, the case will be dismissed.  Coley said, "I am all for downtown redevelopment. I'm not against downtown redevelopment, I'd love to see downtown flourish. I just think we're entitled to know what they intend to do with this money and they refuse to tell us."

ADICA says releasing their information could inhibit their ability to compete.

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