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Day care settles up on debt

POSTED: July 29, 2009 4:00 a.m.

The operator of a day care facing eviction from a county-owned building can breathe a small sigh of relief after catching up on back rent.

  

Lil’ Angels Learning Academy, the only day care center in Dawsonville, was $13,300, or nearly one year, behind in rent for the building it occupies on Academy Avenue.

  

The Dawson County commission last month approved a deal that allowed Ann Mullinax, owner of the business, 30 days to settle up or face eviction.

  

If she did so, then the county would still honor the original lease/purchase agreement, which gives Mullinax until Sept. 30 to buy the building for $450,000.

  

“I’m happy for her that she was able to catch up and we wish her the best,” County Manager Kevin Tanner said. “We will still honor the terms of the lease, which allows her the option of purchasing and closing on the building by the end of September.”

  

Mullinax, who paid the debt in full last week via a loan, said she plans to pursue buying the building through a silent partner.

  

“The county has been very good to me, and I am thankful to Mr. Tanner for presenting the extension to the board to give me a chance to get my business back on track,” Mullinax said.

  

“Some bookkeeping problems are what set us so far behind and we were not able to catch up before being approached by the county,” she added.

  

“I have since taken over all matters concerning bill payments. I do not see getting behind in rent as a future problem.”

  

Mullinax has run Lil’ Angels Learning Academy since October 2007. The building formerly housed a county-run day care. Per the original agreement, rent was set at $1,200 per month.

  

Mullinax said she views her business as a ministry as opposed to a source for making a living.

  

“We strive to provide a healthy and safe learning atmosphere for the children with a curriculum that prepares them for school,” she said.

  

The day care has 37 children ages 6 weeks to 12 years enrolled, with four full-time and four part-time employees.

  

E-mail Elizabeth Hamilton at elizabeth@dawsonnews.com.

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