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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RIPAmerica
0
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RIPAmerica 12/07/09 - 05:22 pm
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I've seen few blogs (and I

I've seen few blogs (and I visit hundreds) that offer edit and delete capabilities. C'mon AC, remove the "edit" and "delete" icons and welcome to the rest of the blogging world of typos and mis-statements. Those two features were actually features which made the AC attractive to blog upon. I don't think the bloggers in this area are capable of proofreading before they hit "post". As for the TEE? Congrats to all of Richmond County for finally getting what you approved. IF the investment in the TEE (and Laney Walker revitalization) bears fruit, it will be money well spent. If not, we at least will have the experience from which to learn.

gargoyle
10451
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gargoyle 12/07/09 - 05:28 pm
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Congratulations Augustans, we

Congratulations Augustans, we just bought another Time share ( no to disparage Time Share sales folks they actually have to follow laws and ethics rules our elected officials don't ) 9 out of 10 car salesmen can't be wrong , Bait and switch seals the deal .

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 12/07/09 - 05:28 pm
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Riverman, Reverend Hatney

Riverman, Reverend Hatney made the best deal in light of the passed runoff.He kinda took the sting out of the runoff results. A lot of the Aitken supporters didn't want LaneyWalker to happen. Barovonreich, the last part of your name is so appropriate. How did you ASSume that these people didn't have any self respect or work ethic. Where did you get the 40 years and 40 trillion figure, that must be a typo. Folks like you prove Reverend Hatney did the right thing in moving forward now.

Riverman1
70973
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Riverman1 12/07/09 - 05:36 pm
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Sure Rev. Hatney tried to cut

Sure Rev. Hatney tried to cut the best deal in light of what's coming, however I doubt Aitken could have gone against the TEE in any case. It's a done deal now with only people like me reminding others when it goes south.

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 12/07/09 - 05:40 pm
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RCR if these people had any

RCR if these people had any self-respect they wouldn't have let their neighborhood get in the shape it is in. Where are the homeowners and HOA? The demographics of that area speak for themselves. Where is the money for revitalizing Westlake?

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 12/07/09 - 05:42 pm
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Riverman, let's hope it's

Riverman, let's hope it's successful. Can you tell me what's coming. I don't see the big advantage that most claim will exist.Outside of the TEE center, they didn't have many major differences.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 12/07/09 - 05:49 pm
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Baronvonreich,Westlake is in

Baronvonreich,Westlake is in Columbia Co. and is much newer and wealthier. These neighborhoods are rundown and perhaps sixty years old or more. Most of the original owners are dead. These properties became a dumping ground for the poor.But, hopefully some can get jobs or a hand up from these efforts. Why didn't you say that about the upper end of Broad street which is being given nearly 90 million by the Kroc foundation?I think I know why.

FallingLeaves
26
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FallingLeaves 12/07/09 - 05:49 pm
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Testing edit button.

Testing edit button.

austinevans
0
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austinevans 12/07/09 - 05:49 pm
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0

Drop the revitilization

Drop the revitilization effort--total waste of money!

FallingLeaves
26
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FallingLeaves 12/07/09 - 05:52 pm
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I see, the edit button

I see, the edit button definitely is not working, I tried several times to edit my 4:49pm post and it did not work. I thought this was only happening before on random occasions, but is this a permanent change now? If there is not going to be an edit function, it would be proper to remove the edit button. Now I'm going to test the delete button.

FallingLeaves
26
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FallingLeaves 12/07/09 - 05:52 pm
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Testing delete button.

Testing delete button.

FallingLeaves
26
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FallingLeaves 12/07/09 - 05:55 pm
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You're correct, the delete

You're correct, the delete button is not working either. Until these buttons' functions are returned, I think I will find somewhere else to post my comments on local and national news. If the delete button function isn't available, the delete button should also be removed. I would prefer that edit and delete functions work, as do most other posters.

FallingLeaves
26
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FallingLeaves 12/07/09 - 05:56 pm
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I'm not testing the link

I'm not testing the link button, I haven't used it before.

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 12/07/09 - 05:57 pm
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Is the Kroc Foundation funded

Is the Kroc Foundation funded by taxpayers?

Riverman1
70973
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Riverman1 12/07/09 - 06:09 pm
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This whole matter is eerily

This whole matter is eerily similar to Charles DeVaney pushing the Riverwalk which never made us an accountable penny. Does Deke drive back and forth to Hilton Head often visiting friends?

Native007
4
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Native007 12/07/09 - 06:18 pm
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The Kroc Foundation was

The Kroc Foundation was founded by donations and non-profits..

Riverman1
70973
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Riverman1 12/07/09 - 06:18 pm
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The DeVaney connections who

The DeVaney connections who were his friends, were they involved in the Riverwalk dealings? Are they now involved in the TEE negotiations? Does Deke know them well?

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 12/07/09 - 06:19 pm
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Well Baronvonreich, most of

Well Baronvonreich, most of this money will come from those living beyond RC's borders.The Kroc Foundation should have chosen the former Regency Mall. The crime argument is weak. This foundation appears to have made it's selection of Harrisburg(which is crime free) because it is predominately white.The location doesn't make sense. That's just my opinion.

baronvonreich
0
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baronvonreich 12/07/09 - 06:26 pm
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It has nothing to do with

It has nothing to do with race RCR other than when you and the other "woe is me" minorities bring it up. It has all to do with improper use of taxpayer money and the bribery and and corruption on the commission. If the property owners, residents, and businesses in the L-W area don't want to clean up their neighborhood then taxpayers shouldn't be responsible for funding what will be money spent on wasteful corruption that will not be transparent in an accounting sense nor will it have anybody held responsible for its misuse.

stovall st
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stovall st 12/07/09 - 06:27 pm
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0

What a Joke!

What a Joke!

austinevans
0
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austinevans 12/07/09 - 06:28 pm
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Show me a project that has

Show me a project that has been "revitalized" and I will show you a slum within 10 years!

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 12/07/09 - 06:40 pm
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Baloney Baronvonreich, save

Baloney Baronvonreich, save the woe is me stuff, I have plenty. Folks like you complain LaneyWalker is a waste, while overlooking other projects and areas that were no doubt recommended by locals partial those areas.Kroc didn't just come in here and select this area. Just like the Stimulus money projects the mayor and city administater slip through. That's taxpayer money aimed at predominately white areas. Y'all are just hypocrites when it comes to the black areas.

fishman960
1420
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fishman960 12/07/09 - 06:47 pm
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0

What white areas? Let me

What white areas? Let me guess.....Diamond Lakes?

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 12/07/09 - 06:57 pm
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No fishman, Goshen and

No fishman, Goshen and Summerville. I have tone it down a bit, because the truth is offensive to some. Some of you guys need to remove your rose colored glasses and get real.

fishman960
1420
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fishman960 12/07/09 - 07:03 pm
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Oh yeah. Goshen knew better.

Oh yeah. Goshen knew better. They didn't want it. Summerville? I agree that there was something fishy about that stimulus crap.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
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RichmondCountyResident1 12/07/09 - 07:06 pm
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Fishman, I'm not blaming the

Fishman, I'm not blaming the people of Goshen or Summerville. I blame the mayor and the city administrater, who claimed they didn't have time to consult the commission.Yeah fishman, that was very fishy and unacceptable.

fishman960
1420
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fishman960 12/07/09 - 07:15 pm
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In this town, there is a long

In this town, there is a long list of fishy and unacceptable. River has a book of crap that this city has done for the last couple decades. Makes me want to jump county lines. Only thing is Columbia County is starting a list of their own.

Tell it like it is
35
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Tell it like it is 12/07/09 - 07:38 pm
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Betty Beard abstaining and

Betty Beard abstaining and Calvin Holland absent.
Why do they want the job if they don't vote?

austinevans
0
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austinevans 12/07/09 - 07:52 pm
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Tell it, that's their usual

Tell it, that's their usual mode of operendi! But, both are gone and good riddance! What's the purpose of all the money going to laney and bethelem? Bribe money to beard, charles walker and a few others. I hope the commission has the gonads to cnx the funding for those neighborhoods as soon as the new council is seated!

The Knave
24
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The Knave 12/07/09 - 08:00 pm
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Congratulations, Augusta,

Congratulations, Augusta, your government has just delivered another atrocious decision that is going to cost taxpayers a lot of dough -- and deliver a lot of dough to the movers and shakers who have been pushing for this white elephant (can you say Bronco Billy?). And, you'll end up with another big empty space known formerly known as the Discovery Center. As far as I can tell, no serious attempt was made to evaluate its potential usefulness as a exhibition/trade facility (if, indeed, the citizens of Augusta would benefit from having such a thing). To add insult to the injury, the estimates of the cost of the elephant were so manipulated that the manipulators themselves lost track of the reality of the situation. Of course, that is the SOP for the involved politicians and the "business" people who stand to gain from the idiocy (can you say Bronco Billy?). So, once again abused Augustans, you've been fleeced and flummoxed by the hayseeds and unprincipled tin-horn business "leaders" and their lackeys on the Council.

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