ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority continues to regroup from the financial mess left behind by fired director Don Buie. They established one committee to help sort out their money issues and another to come up with rules and regulations for board members.
Just when it seemed downtown Albany redevelopment was picking up speed, growth was stopped by a red light. "The truth is, we don't have the money," said James Taylor.
Interim ADICA Director James Taylor and board members continue to try to move forward with an audit of their finances. Right now those finances are low. "Financially ADICA has very little money, less than $13,000. In fact, some of the Downtown Manager's funds have been used to pay some of the expenses of ADICA and that fund is being depleted as well," said Taylor.
The authority still has expenses like maintenance of the Ray Charles Plaza and they have future project plans. Taylor plans to ask the city for financial help. "If our assessments are correct, somewhere between 100 and $150,000 will get us through this year, get all this debt paid off, get us to the position where we can generate some positive revenue," said Taylor.
Some revenue will now be coming in through façade grant re-payments. ADICA has already received $2,500 from board member Lajuana Woods towards the repayment of a $50,000 grant she received under Don Buie. Now recently-evicted Dollar Square owner Tim Washington will start repaying $46,099.99 in façade grants and back rent.
"Knowing that we were going to take litigations to recover the money, he offered to repay the money. He said the most he could afford at this time was $500 a month but he would pay it until it was paid off," said Taylor.
Board members also voted to investigate any other façade grants that were issued after the allowable amount increased to $50,000. "The board felt to be fair and even-handed that we needed to take a look at all of those grants," said Taylor.
As they work towards the future, there's still uncertainty about past dealings. "Certainly there's likely to be other people coming to us who say things were promised," said Taylor. One thing is certain. They all hope to progress and keep the light green on downtown growth.
Board members also learned at their meeting Wednesday night that they're receiving between 20 and $30,000 in past due invoices. One is a $17,000 phone bill. Taylor says the bills belong to Albany Tomorrow and ADICA is not responsible for paying them. He's sent letters to the agencies advising them of this.
ADICA board members hope to make a formal request for help to city commissioners later this month. If they're turned down, they plan to go to the county.
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