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ADICA votes to help county with DHR bond

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY -- The board of directors for the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority voted unanimously Wednesday to act as a conduit for what is essentially a refinance of $8.2 million in bonds for the Department of Human Resources Building.

After some background from County Administrator Richard Crowdis, the board voted to allow Dougherty County to use the authority as a pass-through for the bond effort, which will slash the current interest rate by 3 percent without extending the life of the loan -- saving Dougherty County roughly $500,000.

The Dougherty County Commission voted unanimously Monday to pitch the idea to ADICA for consideration. ADICA was the initial bonding agent in 1999 when the original $14 million bond issue was passed.

The money went to build the regional hub of the Georgia Department of Human Resources. The state currently rents the property from the county for the amount of the bond payments, Crowdis said.

In other business, the board voted to allow interim director James Taylor to "pay whatever we owe," to the law firm of Perry & Walters, after receiving roughly $8,000 in invoices for legal services provided by then-ADICA Attorney Jay Reynolds.

The actual amount has not been solidified, Taylor said, because ADICA staff hasn't had time to ensure that some of the invoices have not already been paid. The invoices that were submitted to ADICA by Perry & Walters as a part of an end-of-year audit, Taylor said.

The board voted 5-1 to allow Taylor to "pay whatever we owe," as Chairperson Jane Willson said.

The lone dissenter, Board Member Phil Cannon, said that he didn't feel comfortable issuing another "blank check," to their director, a reference to the scandal surrounding former ADICA Don Buie, who was indicted and later jailed after the board failed to scrutinize his financial authority.

After the vote, Taylor attempted to reassure Cannon by reminding him that any check that is ultimately issued will have to be endorsed by the board chair or vice chair, and not him.

Reynolds was replaced as ADICA attorney by City Attorney Nathan Davis when the city commission opted, as part of their consideration of ADICA's budget request, to require the city attorney to assume the position as a caveat to the dispersion of city funds.