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Grovetown action tabled

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany City Commission has voted to table for 60 days the issue of a failed development project that cost the city $374,000 that it had to repay.

Also, Mayor Pro Tem Christopher Pike has asked City Attorney Nathan Davis to bring to the commission information on possible changes in the city charter in regard to the assistant city attorney position.

Commissioner Roger Marietta had the discussion on possible litigation to recover tax money lost on the failed Grovetown project, a low-cost community housing project first undertaken by Cutliff Grove Family Resource Center -- an arm of Cutliff Grove Baptist Church.

The U.S. Housing and Urban Development decertified Cutliff Grove as a community housing development organization in 2006 and later ordered that the money it had expended on the project be repaid. City officials decided to repay that $374,000 from general funds.

Commissioners have drawn criticism from the community for not attempting to recover the money from the failed development organization.

The commission's action means that no decision will made until its August meeting at the earliest.

Meanwhile, Pike asked Davis to check on three possible changed to the City Charter regarding the assistant city attorney position.

Currently, that position answers to the city manager while the city attorney answers directly to the City Commission.

Pike asked Davis to get the commission information on making the assistant city attorney an appointed one; grievance procedures for appointed city officials, and appeals procedures for employees who work for appointed employees.

There has been an ongoing issue between Davis and his assistant, Kathy Strang. Strang discovered a gun and knife in Davis' desk in the Law Enforcement Center, which resulted in Davis being suspended for three days by the commission. Davis has since recommended Strang for termination, citing problems with her work.