Linking up progress on the TEE

Billions of dollars are coming into the regional economy now and for the foreseeable future.

Most of the money is coming as project work for new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle. Major progress to happen by 2011 and a new reactor could be online by 2016. The Shaw Group is doing site preparation work.

The size of the Chronicle headline on the June project update doesn’t match the promise held for the region.

The site is less than an hour from downtown Augusta If you are thinking of places to live, eat and play, this is not the only project that will bode well for our communities’ economies.

Local commercial real estate broker David Penix pushed an e-mail encouraging all of us to talk up the impact of the economic news headlining in The Augusta Chronicle.

He did this inspired by worries about the failures surrounding progress on the much-needed trade, exhibition and event center and possible loss of the Hyatt hotel project. He is right when he says economic projections underline the need for some time. The community, by-and-large, voted for and agrees it needs to be.

It is a shame – headed to travesty – that petty politics hold the TEE project hostage. Let’s not kid ourselves that voting lines are drawn simply about ballooning costs.

Doing what is right by the voters shouldn’t be an issue blocked by personal grudges and gamesmanship. The TEE Center project  should be judged on its own merits, the future it serves and a location that makes sense.

Mr. Penix listed Plant Vogtle, Savannah River Site and our Medical community as reasons to see progress. They are evidence of our solid structure and growth. In his e-mail he underlines large investments.

Roughly another billion feeds work at the SRS cleanup and speeding up the Mixed Oxide Facility launch set for 2014. This is ‘now’ money developing a community of skilled labor More nuke jobs are on the horizon. for years to come. People in sunsetting stimulus jobs are likely to find additional work in new projects and community growth fueled by all of this.

We shouldn’t forget the constant and growing impact of our medical community pumpinginto the community annually, hundreds of millions of dollars and possibly billions - hard to count. While eyes are on Medical College of Georgia expansion in Athens, bricks and mortar at  MCG expansions here move forward: School of Dentistry and  new student housing. Doctors Hospital cut a ribbon on a new unit and other area hospitals are making improvements. Also, Augusta hospitals recently put $300 million into construction and renovation.

We can add $500 million in projects at Fort Gordon and thousands of jobs there to the list of goings on.

Thank you Mr. Penix for reminding us. The commission has important economic development work that should be about debating the merits of the project and longterm needs for the community and less about “what do I get.”

You get a community that grows jobs and opportunity.

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Damon Cline
11
Points
Damon Cline 08/13/09 - 09:55 pm
0
0
The biggest barrier to

The biggest barrier to approving the TEE Center is that it's a long-term, economy-boosting, job-creating investment. If it were a short-term, people-pleasing, check-in-my-mailbox-right-now government handout, it would have been rubber stamped years ago.

Augusta's biggest problem has been, and will be for the foreseeable future, its large number of uneducated, civically retarded and short-sighted individuals who continue electing people just like themselves to public office to ensure that the subsidies, public assistance and welfare keep flowing into their neighborhoods. They want to milk the cow but not feed it.

Until the city's welfare class frees itself from government slavery, and the so-called leaders who keep them bound to it, Augusta will never win a blue ribbon at the 4H fair. Apologies to heifers everywhere for the cow analogy. 

imdstuf
10
Points
imdstuf 08/14/09 - 02:35 pm
0
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No, the problem is people

No, the problem is people are stepping back and wondering about whether the TEE Center and hotel will be successful once built.  Face it, August is not Atlanta..it is not even Columbia.  Sure we might offer cheaper rates for holding conferences once we get the TEE Center built..might.  Most organizations will be willing to pay more though to hold a conference in a more prominant city, that has more transportation options to it and around town, that has more site seeing and entertainment options for times when people are not at the center.  Unfortunately the rich get richer in that area.  The hotels in Augusta already have tough business expect during Masters week so I see no reason to dilute it more.  Tee Center jiobs and Hotel jobs would mostly be low paying jobs regardless.  Augusta needs more good paying jobs.  Keep working to bring in more industry and corporate offices, not just call centers and minial jobs.  Augusta will never be a glammer city outside of Master's week, so lets focus on bringing in what will work here.

Damon Cline
11
Points
Damon Cline 08/15/09 - 12:30 am
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See above. My point,

See above. My point, beautifully illustrated.

HillGuy
7
Points
HillGuy 08/16/09 - 04:26 pm
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I think there is a major

I think there is a major backlash over a project that was dishonestly represented to voters. Yes, voters thought a $20 million was a reasonable investment for a TEE Center. They did not vote on or approve a near $70 million project, that in today's economy seems like an unsound investment. Why was the true cost of the TEE center intentionally lowballed to voters. You don't accidentally miss by nearly $50,000,000.. and construction costs don't go up that much in just a few years. How about point to all of these other Exhibit Centers that are full with events. Most are not, most are struggling, even those in the big cities. A better use of $70 million would be to concentrate on the nuts and bolts of downtown that too often get ignored in favor of these expensive pie in the sky projects. The small business owners who have set up shop along Broad Street have been the backbone of the recent resurgence in the area but their concerns and needs are often ignored. Augusta needs to be able to focus on the basics first and demonstrate it can handle that before it starts spending this kind of money on something that has no guarantee whatsoever of being anymore successful than the civic center.

HillGuy
7
Points
HillGuy 08/16/09 - 04:29 pm
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Also, it always seems to be

Also, it always seems to be that these big pie in the sky tax payer funded projects always seem to benefit the same usual suspects the most who just so always happen to own the land or own a hotel adjacent to where the taxpayer funded boondoggle will be located.

SnowBallCity
2
Points
SnowBallCity 08/18/09 - 04:44 pm
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Perfect !

Perfect !

Austin Rhodes
2854
Points
Austin Rhodes 08/19/09 - 07:30 am
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Damon Cline...you GO MAN !

Damon Cline...you GO MAN !  Good for YOU !  Can we put a few of those thoughts in headlines somewhere????

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