Assistant Air Force Secretary addresses Moody Housing woes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Assistant Air Force Secretary addresses Moody Housing woes

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May 13, 2008

Valdosta - Bad news Tuesday for south Georgia sub-contractors still owed millions of dollars for work on a stalled Moody Family housing project.

They had their first face to face meeting with a top Air Force official.

While he told them fixing the Moody housing mess is one of his top priorities, it will be months before they get the money they are owed...if they get it at all.

In all, the sub-contractors lost $11 million in the failed Moody Family Housing Project.  It's cost many their life savings, their homes, their business and their jobs.

All because the contractor, the Carabetta Group, simply stopped paying. The Hunt-Pinnacle group has signed a letter of intent to purchase the property.

But Tuesday, Assistant Air Force Secretary Bill Anderson says it's doubtful that all the money will be recovered.

"Issues like the sub-contractors and debts owed to them will be negotiated between the two major parties and its our hope that the solution will provide some relief to those subcontractors," Anderson says.

The sub-contractors walked off the job site over a year ago when the checks stopped coming in. The 600 homes they were hired to build have rotted behind locked gates ever since.

Many will be destroyed and the project significantly downsized.  "Houses that haven't been weather proofed that have been here through the summer and winter are probably going to be demolished," says Congressman Jack Kingston.

"There's been value that was invested in the project that will provide no cash flow to the owner and because of that the overall value of the project will go down which will require a down scope in the project to make ends meet and it be a financially sound project to the prospective buyer," Anderson adds.

The FBI and the Department of Justice are investigating the Carabetta Group.

Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk says he wants to launch his own investigation too.

If a deal is made, they expect work to resume and some debt repaid by early fall.   Once the purchase goes through,the Carabetta Group could be black listed from any future government contracts.

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