RiverQ will have to wait for county money - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

RiverQ will have to wait for county money

June 20, 2007

Albany --  Dougherty County leaders postponed a decision that would have provided the Riverquarium a quarter-million dollars.

Commissioners voted unanimously to wait until the Georgia Department of Revenue approves the county's tax digest, which will determine the county's millage rate.         

The county's proposed millage rate is 12.397 mills based on the county's proposed $47.1 million dollar budget.          

Finance committee member Lamar Hudgins says typically the county would know what the millage rate would be by now.  However, home reevaluations and appeals have delayed the millage rate.          

Hudgins recommends no more spending until the tax digest is determined sometime in September.          

Not everyone is pleased with this decision. "I'm certainly disappointed the issue remains in limbo, but limbo at this point should be considered the silver lining. It wasn't out right denied," said  RiverQuarium CEO Scott Loehr.    

"We just don't want to make promises in June when they're really not absolutely necessary to be made regarding Riverquarium, and then have to fall back on those promises in September," said Hudgins.    

The Riverquarium generates about $1.2 million annually. CEO Loehr says that amount still doesn't meet all of the Riverquarium's expenses.    

Recently, the downtown attraction has had to eliminate positions and reduce programs due to low funds.  

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