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APS and Atlanta's contract dispute could end up in court

When two parties enter into a contract, each party provides the other with some sort of consideration. That consideration can consist of goods, money or services. When one party fails to provide to the other party what was promised, a contract dispute can erupt and possibly even end up in court. This is a possibility with a contract between the city of Atlanta and the Atlanta Public Schools.

The contract was signed in 2005. The central issue was how the city of Atlanta was going to fund the Beltline. Traditionally, the APS received funding from property taxes. Under the terms of the contract, APS agreed to give a portion of those tax dollars to the city for the Beltline. In exchange, the city agreed to make payments to APS in fixed amounts on an annual basis.

Of course, this was at a time when property values were expected to increase. Then the real estate market crashed. APS's first payment was supposed to be in 2013, but it did not happen.

Therefore, the parties renegotiated to put off the payments, and when they are made, they will be made in installments. At present, it is estimated that the city owes APS somewhere in the neighborhood of $19 million. The city wants to restructure the contract again, but the school system may file legal action.

When one party in a contract dispute seeks to file a lawsuit against the other party, it may not necessarily be for money. Monetary compensation may only be part of the equation. Sometimes, the injured party requests the court to order the other party to perform as agreed in the contract.

Source: bizjournals.com, "Dispute between APS, city threatens to slow Atlanta Beltline progress", Carla Caldwell, June 23, 2014

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