City looses hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay off Cutliff Grove

Cutliff Grove Center Sign

City Commissioners used $374,000 from the general fund to pay off Cutliff Grove Resource Center's debt to HUD.

The lot where two and three bedroom apartments were supposed to be built by the city, EDC, and Cutliff Grove Resource Center is empty - and will stay empty. City attorney Nathan Davis told commissioners there's no reason to sue because Cutliff Grove doesn't have the money, and never had a proof of a contract from HUD.

Commissioner Roger Marietta was the only commissioner to disagree with the lack of action. "I'm not saying his opinion wasn't reasonable, I'm just saying my gut feeling said this is a bad deal. I want more money. I believe that they do have resources. I believe that they have money in the bank, and I would've liked to see some money in the deal" says Marietta.

The city paid HUD $374,000 from the general fund and now owns the land worth $95,000. Tax payers have to swallow the $279,000 deficit.

All commissioners acknowledged the fact that both Cutliff Grove and the previous city commission made mistakes that lead to this situation.

Commissioner Tommie Postell says Cutliff Grove used some of the money legally, however some of it is unaccounted for. "This is actually a win-win situation. Now that we repaid HUD we're back stable with them. So if something comes along later we can use the $279,000 for another project" says Postell.

Cutliff Grove would have first rights to any future development, however they would have to come with the proper funds and resources to take back over the project. City officials say if that were the case in the future they will be paying close attention to make sure this expensive mistake never happens again.