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Atlanta might have to return millions in fed aid

ATLANTA (AP) - Atlanta might have to return millions in federal aid money allocated to help some of the city's poorest communities.

The city expects to give back more than $30 million at year's end unless program administrators get an extension from the federal government.

Program officials say few applicants have been able to qualify or get the cash because of the red tape required. The money remains from the city's designation as a $100 million federal Empowerment Zone in 1994.

William McFarland, executive director of the nonprofit organization the city created to handle the money, said local officials have strictly followed program rules required by the federal government.

Atlanta's Empowerment Zone covered 30 inner-city neighborhoods.

The program expires Dec. 31.