Commission passes TEE center plan

Monday, Dec. 7, 2009 12:34 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010 10:43 PM
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More than seven months after the issue split the board along racial lines in what at times seemed like an unbreakable gridlock, the Augusta Commission has passed a plan that will begin construction of a trade, exhibit and event center and revitalization of the Laney-Walker and Bethlehem neighborhoods.

The plan passed 7-1-1, with Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Mason voting no, Betty Beard abstaining and Calvin Holland absent.

The TEE center will be built at the previously agreed-upon site on Reynolds Street, and operated by Augusta Riverfront LLC, which runs the existing convention center inside the Augusta Mariott Hotel & Suites.

A 400-space parking deck will be built across the street for $10 million, with Augusta Riverfront donating most of the necessary land.

Also under the vote, an $8 million bond will be issued to kick-start redevelopment efforts in Laney-Walker and Bethlehem. Because a lack of funds has ground the projects to a halt, $1 million will be taken from the general fund and put into the initiative for the short-term, then paid back with bond proceeds.

The motion to approve was made by Don Grantham and seconded by J.R. Hatney.

In his motion, Mr. Grantham tweaked the formula for spending proceeds of a $1-a-night bed fee. The first $350,000 will go toward TEE center operations, the next $750,000 will go toward the inner-city neighborhoods and the next $400,000 will go to Augusta Public Transit.

Any collections over $1.5 million per year will be split 60-40 percent - 60 percent to expand the bus system and 40 percent for a special fund for revitalizing neighborhoods throughout the city.

Mr. Hatney said he wanted to get the deal passed today because he feared if it waited until next year, when Commissioner-elect Matt Aitken joins the board and whites have a 6-4 majority, the inner-city projects could be taken out of the package completely.

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austinevans
0
Points
austinevans 12/07/09 - 01:47 pm
0
0
I don't think this vote

I don't think this vote should have taken place prior to the new members being seated. We don't need the blackmail from laney and bethelem, dragging the city down for 50 yrs!

fishman960
1444
Points
fishman960 12/07/09 - 01:52 pm
0
0
I think we all saw this

I think we all saw this coming...

LaTwon
1
Points
LaTwon 12/07/09 - 01:55 pm
0
0
20 million to 60

20 million to 60 million............ no questions asked.

LaTwon
1
Points
LaTwon 12/07/09 - 02:00 pm
0
0
most construction work i am

most construction work i am having done is about half price due to the fact that those people are starving.

LaTwon
1
Points
LaTwon 12/07/09 - 02:05 pm
0
0
sea island conference

sea island conference center...........bankrupt. amelia island conference center..........bankrupt. well i guess they dont get to suck the life out of taxpayers.

Native007
4
Points
Native007 12/07/09 - 02:53 pm
0
0
It's about time things got

It's about time things got moving over on the GA side. Let's now hope that they are successful endeavors. Congratulations to the commission for finally getting something passed. It still sucks to hear that race is still such a voting factor.

Westside Liberal
12
Points
Westside Liberal 12/07/09 - 03:08 pm
0
0
YES CSRACitizen007 Rev/Dr

YES CSRACitizen007 Rev/Dr Hatney will be serving the citizens of Augusta as commissioner next year and beyond. He'll serve because there was not anyone from the Four districts he represents to run against him in the last election. You would think that out of the several candidates running for the District 1 that one or more of them would have registered to run against Hatney. Is there going to be a committee or citizen commission to over see the spending within then Bethlehem/Laney-Walker/Inner-City Revitalization Project? Could this be a Job For Betty Beard?

yak11
0
Points
yak11 12/07/09 - 03:12 pm
0
0
Next the TEE center....bets

Next the TEE center....bets are now being taken when we will get ground broke.

Riverman1
82264
Points
Riverman1 12/07/09 - 03:47 pm
0
0
You have to be kidding me.

You have to be kidding me. This is what Augusta government has come to? "Mr. Hatney said he wanted to get the deal passed today because he feared if it waited until next year, when Commissioner-elect Matt Aitken joins the board and whites have a 6-4 majority, the inner-city projects could be taken out of the package completely." Now we are locked into the L-W bribes? This is going to ruin Augusta. Does Hatney actually believe Aitken could have gone against the plan to give his own district $40 million? Aitken is believed to be someone who would not support his own district?

disssman
6
Points
disssman 12/07/09 - 03:48 pm
0
0
Thank god we have one sane

Thank god we have one sane commissioner in Al Mason.

Riverman1
82264
Points
Riverman1 12/07/09 - 03:57 pm
0
0
The Commission has refused to

The Commission has refused to discuss using Fort Discovery at about $5 million as opposed to their $100 million fruity gamble.(Remember Rivrerman told you this later) Joe Bowles threw out the misinformatioin that Fort Discovery was about to be bought and would be kept on the tax rolls. Remember the bus that ran over Dave Barbee, when the Boardman's gave Deke the e-mail and be produced out of context portions? That bus is about to run over all of Richmond County to fund a Boardman, Obsbon, Deke, Morris TEE...something each of them gains from monetarily.

Riverman1
82264
Points
Riverman1 12/07/09 - 04:00 pm
0
0
This is what I said before

This is what I said before the meeting: Hahaha...Tuesday night after the election, I joked that work would begin Monday on the TEE Center. The Laney-Walker payoffs for the next 50 years....something that may eventually ruin Augusta.. won't bother them at all. It is never considered, in fact. They are in a frenzy to approve the TEE and please the power brokers. The black commissioners' reaction today could be interesting. Do they now approve the TEE to keep the L-W payoffs or do they continue to vote against it and let the commission wait until Aitken takes office in Janurary? If they choose the latter, what does Aitken do when his district is faced with losing $40 million? Does he demand it be kept in if he is to go along? My bet is either way, the L-W payoffs won't go away.

business owner again
0
Points
business owner again 12/07/09 - 04:00 pm
0
0
Mr. Hatney is just another in

Mr. Hatney is just another in a long line of racist blacks.

business owner again
0
Points
business owner again 12/07/09 - 04:03 pm
0
0
Betty Beard should find a

Betty Beard should find a place to retire and live more to her liking than Augusta.

Riverman1
82264
Points
Riverman1 12/07/09 - 04:14 pm
0
0
WizOz, you guys gloat....but

WizOz, you guys gloat....but let's see what kind of discomfort I can cause y'all by pointing out facts and the truth.

Riverman1
82264
Points
Riverman1 12/07/09 - 04:19 pm
0
0
I must have been prescient.

I must have been prescient. Joe Bowles is on Austin today. The gloat begins. Interesting that Austin Rhodes suddenly says he has been onboard with the TEE all along. Jerkdom.

trickydick1
0
Points
trickydick1 12/07/09 - 04:25 pm
0
0
Can anyone that continues to

Can anyone that continues to post comments tell me why is it so hard for the stupid people of Augusta to move into the future. If it' s not RACE that keeps projects from moving forward it's a lack of understanding by the people and local law makers to understand that you are no longer in the 20's and 30's. Wake up people this is 2009 getting ready to become 2010. When will the people and law makers of Augusta move into the future? This is probably one of the last places on the planet that still think it's all about Black and White well surprise dummies it's about "ECONOMIC POWER" which Augusta is lacking because of a lack of understanding by the people "ALL" and the commissioners "ALL". In case some of you don't drive around the city it looks like a huge junk pile, North, South, East and West. What a brunch of "IDIOTS".

LaTwon
1
Points
LaTwon 12/07/09 - 04:29 pm
0
0
wizoz is obviously a govt

wizoz is obviously a govt parasite. last night he said that businesses pay no taxes, no utilities, no payroll, nothing.
how damn stupid is that. under his logic i can double my salary
anytime i like and pass on the cost. only a govt parasite thinks there is no competition either nearby or overseas that doesnt have the cost of an out of control corrupt govt. i can tell u who pays these costs, the business owner. say good bye to your tax base.................

henrystripe
54
Points
henrystripe 12/07/09 - 04:32 pm
0
0
Hallelujah . . . FINALLY a

Hallelujah . . . FINALLY a decision that is responsive to the documented will of the people. Mr. Hatney, thanks a lot for fueling the racial fires and for throwing a wet blanket on an otherwise great day for Augusta. Perhaps you should follow the lead of Betty Beard and resign as well!

Riverman1
82264
Points
Riverman1 12/07/09 - 04:33 pm
0
0
What’s so funny is that

What’s so funny is that Austin Rhodes is somehow trying to be a spokesman for proponents of the TEE Center now, having Joe Bowles on his show. Heck, last week, he was saying that Rep. Ben Harbin was a terrible person for supporting Speaker Glen Richardson. Come to find out with editorials in the Columbia County News Times, nothing could be further from the truth.

Riverman1
82264
Points
Riverman1 12/07/09 - 04:35 pm
0
0
Interesting that those

Interesting that those supporting the decision to go ahead with the TEE have few posts. Agenda or something I guess.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
Points
RichmondCountyResident1 12/07/09 - 04:37 pm
0
0
Business owner, say what you

Business owner, say what you want about Reverend Hatney. Many of these very posters were calling for the white majority to scrap the LaneyWalker/Bethlehem part of the deal. Now, they want get the chance to. Reverend Hatney's concern is legitimate and shared by many in the black community.If we go by the results of the runoff alone, the whites list is much longer. Riverman, why don't you blast the commissioners for this piece of corporate welfare?I think Betty Beard made a great deal and now it will happen to the chagrin of many.Smart move Reverend Hatney Checkmate!!!

1of the frontrowgang
0
Points
1of the frontrowgang 12/07/09 - 04:37 pm
0
0
Betty Beard did what she does

Betty Beard did what she does best(abstain). Calvin Holland was looking for another way to screw Augusta out of some money.What a dip. Rev.(?) Hatney playing the race card(which is what he does best).

Riverman1
82264
Points
Riverman1 12/07/09 - 04:40 pm
0
0
RCR, I positively am. I don't

RCR, I positively am. I don't either side with either here....only the results.

Riverman1
82264
Points
Riverman1 12/07/09 - 04:46 pm
0
0
That should have been, "RCR,

That should have been, "RCR, I positively am. I don't side here with either...only the results. The edit function doesn't work on this board. So don't be led to believe you can edit something later. AC, either fix it or don't make posters think they can edit later.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
Points
RichmondCountyResident1 12/07/09 - 04:56 pm
0
0
Riverman, I must admit I am a

Riverman, I must admit I am a TEE center supporter. I'm don't like the bait and switch method applied by Grantham and Co. The black commissioners were correct in holding up this travesty.Not to mention the bribe attempt.But overall it will add to our skyline and hopefully increase the tax base. Also the new properties in the LaneyWalker/Bethlehem corrider will now become taxpayers. This project is no sure thing, but under the circumstances it's the best thing available.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
Points
RichmondCountyResident1 12/07/09 - 04:59 pm
0
0
It's I don't like the bait

It's I don't like the bait and switch method applied by Grantham and Co.The edit function is indeed not working.

Riverman1
82264
Points
Riverman1 12/07/09 - 05:12 pm
0
0
RCR, yeah, this lack of an

RCR, yeah, this lack of an edit function is distracting. I try to report the facts and although you are for the TEE Center, I'll remind you of the original agreement about how much would be spent on the TEE Center and how much would go to the Laney-Walker grants. The cost of the TEE Center has gone up, but the grants to the L-W area hasn't gone up.

Riverman1
82264
Points
Riverman1 12/07/09 - 05:14 pm
0
0
Dang, another typo I can't

Dang, another typo I can't fix in the last sentence. Come on AC, step up and fix it.

baronvonreich
0
Points
baronvonreich 12/07/09 - 05:17 pm
0
0
This is a complete waste of

This is a complete waste of taxpayer money not only for the TEE but trying to revitalize a neighborhood that doesn't even care about itself inhabited by people who have no self-respect, respect for others, and no work ethic. 40 years and $40 trillion haven't helped so I don't know why the commission thinks this will be any different.

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