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Cutliff Grove asks city for debt reduction

Oliver Jones, of the Cutliff Grove Family Resource Center’s board, speaks to the Albany City Commission Tuesday.

Oliver Jones, of the Cutliff Grove Family Resource Center’s board, speaks to the Albany City Commission Tuesday.

ALBANY, Ga. — Cutliff Grove Family Resource Center officials have asked Albany city commissioners to cut their debt on a low-income housing project by 50 percent and to allow that lowered debt to be repaid over 30 years with no interest.

Speaking to the commission Tuesday, Oliver Jones, a board member at CGFRC, and Juanita Mixon, the group’s program manager, said that the need for roughly $448,000 worth of repairs to the Nativity housing complex on South Madison Street is placing a financial strain upon the organization.

The original loan granted to CGFRC in February 2008 was for $1.5 million, with a 3 percent interest rate for a term of 30 years. Loan payments were deferred for three years.

A recent audit by Brown and McDaniel CPAs, however, suggests that the organization isn’t solvent enough to make the necessary repairs without a modification to the loan.

The group is asking the commission to lower the principal to $716,759 at zero interest for the next 30 years. If approved, it would lower the group’s monthly payments from $6,324 to $1,191.

“Many repairs are needed,” Jones said. “We’re in dire need of help, to put it plain and simple.”

Jones says that the repairs that were done to the 42-unit site were not done properly and Mixon said that the three years’ worth of rent the group collected without having to make a payment to the city went partially toward repairs, with the rest going to pay for taxes and insurance on the building.

“If we want Albany to be a place where we can truly say it’s the Good Life City, we have to continue to have living accommodations that is suitable for people who want a safe and sanitary place to live,” Jones said.

Commissioners appeared cold to the idea of completely modifying the terms of the loan, but also seemed hesitant to leave the organization to its own devices — a move that could end up with a default on the loan and the city getting a 42-unit complex to operate.

“The city doesn’t need another piece of property,” Ward VI Commissioner Tommie Postell said. “We don’t need to be in the landlord business. I say we do what we can to help keep this building in their hands rather than have it fall into ours.”

Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard wasn’t as convinced.

“The thing that worries me is lowering the principal,” Hubbard said. “It’s one thing to lower in the interest rate, but lowering the principal doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.”

And then there is the legality of the matter.

City Attorney Nathan Davis said that the request may violate the gratuities clause of the Georgia Constitution, which bans the state or other local government entity from giving anything away to for the benefit of a private organization.

City Manager James Taylor said that the request gives him “great concerns” over the organization’s ability to carry the note.

“I have grave concerns. It is not certain to me that they can ever generate sufficient revenues to settle the note,” Taylor said.

According to a letter sent to Taylor by W.D. McDaniel, a CPA for the firm that audited CGFRC’s books for 2008, 2009 and 2010, the organization averaged in revenues of $200,000 per year in rental payments with expenses of $165,000 per year.

The remaining $35,000 in cash flow would not meet the $75,000-per-year note obligations with the city, McDaniel says.

Comments

buddy 1 year, 8 months ago

LOL...yeah and I want my mortgage cut in half and the interest lowered to 0% and while you're at it, throw in a free cell phone, some food stamps and house payment assistance.

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VSU 1 year, 8 months ago

I want my debt cut by 50% as well. I want my interest rate lowered to zero % and my balance cut down to $64,000

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jglass 1 year, 8 months ago

I agree with you guys. They took the money, they need to repay the money as per the conditions of receiving the money. If they had not wasted it or blown it or whatever they did with it.............................

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 8 months ago

They blew the money on "failed" Aunt Fannies. They didn't use the money for what it's real purpose was intended for. Stop your whinning Drake!!!

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whattheheck 1 year, 8 months ago

The agenda packet for today's commission meeting is on the internet. Read the part on Cutliff starting at page 48--a bleak story no matter how it is parsed.

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 8 months ago

Cutliff can go jump into the Flint!! Commissioners: You don't want to rehash this ordeal do you? You WILL have an angry mob if you do what they want.

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waltspecht 1 year, 8 months ago

How about we all find it in our hearts to look at this realistically. Now you or I would have to beg for an extension, but to request a flat 50% reduction is definately a new high for nerve. Especially when you look at past history and practice with this group.

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terihdfxr1 1 year, 8 months ago

ROFLMAO lol, lol, mwahaha, cackle, giggle, giggle, teehee, haha, hahaha, lmbo, Oh dang i cant breath this is just too funny. OMG is this real?

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Cartman 1 year, 8 months ago

Any commissioner who seriously considers this is complicit. The commission ought to consider taking Cutliff Grove into receivership if it cannot meet it obligations. They can sell the property to a solvent responsible entity. They can also search the books for whatever resources are available to run the operation.

All they need are an attorney, a real estate agent, and a forensic accountant to straighten up that situation.

In the meantime, the answer to the debt reduction request should be: "No".

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

Not no but HELL NO! To any of the request!

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FormerAlbanianTG 1 year, 8 months ago

Well I'm sure the "Leaders" in Albany will give in the them Because Albany isn't broke enough yet . And Heaven forbid , Its a Church based Project if you don't give in You surely must be Anti Christian, Anti Minority, or just plain Mean! Crap like that is why, After watching the city I grew up in and begin a family in going to the Dogs ,I packed up and moved to Valdosta. With zero intention of ever moving back to the " Good Strife City" .

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bubbavet 1 year, 8 months ago

Gee!! What happened to the old saying? "People in hell want ice water"

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FormerAlbanianTG 1 year, 8 months ago

All churches of any size have hidden assets. Bequeathments , Trusts, Cash Offerings. The cash rolls in and a lot of it just disappears mysteriously because We all know that "Religious People" would have ever ever ever misappropriated funds.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 8 months ago

$1.4 Million pissed away and nothing to show for it except a beat up old sign. JUST SAY NO!!

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dingleberry 1 year, 8 months ago

Wrong, Ruby. We wrote off $1 million on this project when the first owner, Mission Outreach Center, defaulted before this bunch took over. The total wee wee'd away on this dog will be at least $2.5 million before we burn them down for blight mitigation. How many lurge expensive cars with lurge rims did we pass out on this one?

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Cartman 1 year, 8 months ago

Hey Albany City Commission! I want my tax obligations cut in half and the late penalty lowered to 0%.

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whattheheck 1 year, 8 months ago

No Carts, how about a doubling of your part to pick up the slack?

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RedEric 1 year, 8 months ago

This could be a turning point. Ya smart folks know what that means. The decision the commission makes shines a bright light on their ultimate intentions. Let the road unravel!

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wino3800 1 year, 8 months ago

Unacceptable. These people made a commitment and are responsible. They must be prosecuted if this unravels. Just say no.

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dingleberry 1 year, 8 months ago

Listen up folks! This housing project loan was written down by $1 million when the city foreclosed on the original owner, Mission Outreach Center (MOC). There is a long history on this complex. which started with $2.5 million loan to MOC in Feb 1997--the non-profit had to put up $100,000 as its "Investment". WHY HAS NO ONE MENTIONED THIS WRITE DOWN BEFORE? ADDED TO WHAT CUTLIFF WANTS TO DO NOW, THE TOTAL WRITE DOWNS WILL EXCEED $1.7 MILLION. THIS INFORMATION IS IN BOOK 1885, PAGE 0324 IN THE CLERK'S OFFICE IF THE HERALD WANTS TO EXPAND THE STORY TO PRINT THE WHOLE MATTER.

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whattheheck 1 year, 8 months ago

None of what you say was in the agenda package given to the commissioners and put on the internet. I wonder if they know about this since it was not mentioned? Gives credibility to Jim Taylor's concerns about whether the loan can ever be paid back. I have my doubts.

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SMHgain 1 year, 8 months ago

Seems like Cutliff Grove just wants another handout. Wonder what they would do if someone owed them almost two million dollars and asked them to forget about half of the money owed to them? I agree with one of the other posts that said something about increasing the rents to cover expenses or have the non paying tenants do the work. Why doesn't the commission refuse to cooperate like some of the people involved with Cutliff Grove did when the misuse of the HUD money came to light? If our city and county has that kind of money to give away I want some money too.

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rightasrain 1 year, 8 months ago

This is "The Good Life City"; borrow millions from the city, don't make the payments, shed crock tears to get the debt cut in half with no interest for 30 years and reduce payments by over 5K (which will never be repaid either). Just watch...the City Conmissioners will go along..."Good Lawdy Miss Maudie...DIS IS DE GOOD LIFE CITY"!

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hotdog 1 year, 8 months ago

These idiots must be crazy....it never should have been built in the first place...

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oldster 1 year, 8 months ago

Okay.....lets get a group together and we will build a bunch of homes, get much of our money from the city and county, then come back a few years later and ask our debt be cut in half and be given a thirty years extension with zero interest. This project should have never been started until the group had enough money to do it. It seems the Cutliff Grove group thinks that money grows on trees and tax payers are the trees. STOP THIS NONSENSE NOW ! STOP!

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dingleberry 1 year, 8 months ago

The group that built the housing started with $2,5 million. Cutliff is not the virgin on this project.

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 8 months ago

The groups or persons who do have money to build these kinds of projects have came to the commission before and these people could pay the debt but the city (Mayor Adams) would automatically shoot them down for any request. Remember Tim Coley?

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VietVet1 1 year, 8 months ago

"the need for roughly $448,000 worth of repairs to the Nativity housing complex"

So, in four years they're able to do that much damage?

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dingleberry 1 year, 8 months ago

You aren't getting the whole story. These apts are vintage 1998-99 time frame.

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 8 months ago

Still newer than my house!!!!!

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B4it 1 year, 8 months ago

No matter how noble the intent is to help others, this is a prime example of why the City should never be in the business of loaning, or giving, tax payer funds to a private entity.

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dingleberry 1 year, 8 months ago

The city also has not learned that the more subsidized housing we provide, the larger the poverty numbers grow. The article of the demise of Detriot is a parallel to the demise of Albany, on a much smaller scale. When jobs and money leave, so does future prospects for what is left.

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USTPC 1 year, 8 months ago

This should answer the question posed in the Squawk of the Day. Stories like this make up 90% of the news.

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USTPC 1 year, 8 months ago

“The city doesn’t need another piece of property,” Ward VI Commissioner Tommie Postell said. “We don’t need to be in the landlord business. I say we do what we can to help keep this building in their hands rather than have it fall into ours.”

Is there anybody who is surprised that Postell is all of the debt reduction and zero interest?

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B4it 1 year, 8 months ago

USTPC - no surprise for me. Postell should retire from the commission. His arrogant (and past racist) views are not what this City needs.

Postell and the rest of the commissioners should first ask themselves would they invest any of their privately owned funds into this Cutliff Grove venture? If the answer is no, then no more tax payer funds should be used either.

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dingleberry 1 year, 8 months ago

I guess Tommie needs to talk with the folks in DCED and the Housing Authority who can perhaps get him to understand we are already a big landlord with a lot of contingent liability from what is out there now.

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gotanyfacts 1 year, 8 months ago

I'm not familiar with Postell, but have been impressed by some of the quotes attributed to him in the paper, ptompting me to ask, "Who tells him when to come in out of the rain? "

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 8 months ago

You should show up live for a commission meeting and get a load of Postell. Just remember bring popcorn and a soda and watch the show.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

" . . . a default on the loan (would mean) the city getting a 42-unit complex to operate." Fantastic! Somebody call Jimmy Holloway and see if he will take this thing and get our money back. He can have it when the deed's clear. The man's the best damned rental real estate mind in the freaking area. James West, call him today. Unload this white elephant and move on. Postell, if you want to keep out of the rental business, don't co-sign the damn notes, you fool.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 8 months ago

Isn't this how June Bug got rich after the flood? Borrow money, do not pay it back, and then sold it for millions to the Hindus. Maybe they would like to buy them. The city ought to put the apartments out for bid and sell them. I do not believe the hog wash about maintain them and having to spend that money to fix them up. They must have gold plated toilets.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 8 months ago

Check what all these Cutliff Grove "Board Members" drove up in. That will give you a perspective on this situation. Albany must be the highest sales per capita of Mercedes and BMW luxury imports in these United States of America. Meanwhile....the region has the highest levels of poverty, of Free/Reduced Meals for school kids, and the highest unemployment in the State of Georgia.

Somebody got to help me out on this one.

P.S. CG has no intention to pay one penny of their debt, no matter what it is. Cut it to ten dollars. They still won't pay it.

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