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Albany Tomorrow has no future

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

September 10, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Tomorrow Incorporated is disbanding. As of December 31st, the business operations will cease. The board made that decision Wednesday morning, now employees will have to find new jobs.

After ten years of operations, it took only minutes for board members to pass a motion that would, in effect, end Albany Tomorrow. "ATI did not acquire the investors that we desperately needed to continue to operate. Without investors, without something to build, there's no real reason for our being here," said Board Chairman C.W. Grant.

While there may be no purpose in the organization moving forward, it will leave a mark on Albany.  Grant said, "ATI has done an incredible job in things that it has done."

Albany Tomorrow is responsible for much of what you see in Downtown Albany today. They managed projects to build the Flint Riverquarium, Ray Charles Plaza, Bridge house, the river trail, Thronateeska planetarium and Civil Rights Institute. But now those projects are finished, or wrapping up.

"There's a role for an ATI in every community that's trying to revitalize itself, but we have just almost come to the end of our journey." And Chairman C.W. Grant says the board had to be realistic, so its employees can plan for their tomorrows.

"In fairness to the people who work for us who have families that they've got to continue to lookout for, they need to be clear that at a certain point in time, we're not going to be here providing employment." And that time will be December 31st for three full time employees, and two contract employees.

Work on the Thronateeska planetarium and Civil Rights Institute is expected to be completed within the next couple of months. Final work is taking place at the Ray Charles Plaza.

The Chehaw Connector, a pedestrian bridge connecting the river trail to Chehaw, isn't expected to be complete until mid 2009. The city will take over management of that project and any others that are not complete when ATI stops operating.

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