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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jasonpilgrim
0
Points
jasonpilgrim 12/07/09 - 08:13 pm
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Real classy Rev. Hatney. REAL

Real classy Rev. Hatney. REAL classy!!!

blues550
344
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blues550 12/07/09 - 08:19 pm
0
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Loudest groan will come from

Unpublished

Loudest groan will come from that other Broad Street rag - The Metro Unspirited. I see another round of Billy Bashuing coming. Love it! Love It! Love it!

Meanwhile, back in Columbia County things are just a growin' along!

fishman960
1420
Points
fishman960 12/07/09 - 08:40 pm
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I still fail to see where

I still fail to see where this golden egg is for Morris / Riverfront LLC. The company is bleeding by the millions! They just had to sell off just to satisfy that interest payment. Sure it will generate a little revenue for the LLC, but come on! Someone tell me how this makes Morris any better off.

pizzato
3
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pizzato 12/07/09 - 08:48 pm
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Screw the Laney Walker hoods

Screw the Laney Walker hoods they will come and break into the cars to take what they want. I say spend their money on security and have a place for the people from out of town (Augusta's real money) to feel safe. The only place I feel safe along the river is in North Augusta.

pizzato
3
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pizzato 12/07/09 - 08:51 pm
0
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The buttons don't work but

The buttons don't work but the bottom line is to hell with the Laney Walker hooods. They will come and break into the cars and steal what they want anyway. Let those old hoods rot and spen the money on security and structure it's natures way of cleansing.

gargoyle
10171
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gargoyle 12/07/09 - 08:56 pm
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Fishman If the names and ties

Fishman If the names and ties were mentoned it wouldn't stay up long ... The underlings come and go but the players make government pay and the pay is good here in good Discusta ...

austinevans
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austinevans 12/07/09 - 09:03 pm
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I have to agree with numerous

I have to agree with numerous posters, why build a "TEE" Center when you have numerous buildings which could function as the same thing but are unutilized now. As for laney and Bethlehem, well everyone knows my opinion of that. Once a getto hood, always a getto hood. Richmond Cnty commishs' check it out and tell me that "ain't" so, Joe!

joebowles
104
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joebowles 12/07/09 - 09:13 pm
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Riverman, About Ft. Discover.

Riverman, About Ft. Discover. read what I have posted, "Some acquisitions take time" ie 12/31. Do you ever get your facts straight???? That must be why you refuse to meet and discuss policy???

austinevans
0
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austinevans 12/07/09 - 09:35 pm
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Glad to see you are posting

Glad to see you are posting Joe. Wish you would answer my question!

fishman960
1420
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fishman960 12/07/09 - 09:51 pm
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Glad to see the commission

Glad to see the commission working together to get something done, Joe. Can we expect more? I am ready to get past this TEE debate and move on to something else.

Emerydan
9
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Emerydan 12/07/09 - 10:03 pm
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Let's see what happens in

Let's see what happens in about 5 years. How many of their boondoggles have turned a profit or even approached their predictions? The problem is, with voter apathy in Augusta, why should these policticians even care? They know, with the right amount of money they can get who they want into office. So let's see who all of these big conventions are who are supposedly in line waiting to come to Augusta. And lets see if there really is a HYatt Hotel. What you want a bet, that no ground is ever broken and there is an announcement next year that the prpject is delayed and then in another year it is cancelled. Remember that condo project that was supposed to go up on the pension fund site? remember Villages at Riverwatch? I never quite understood the math behind the taxpayers footing the bill for over $100 million in government spending with the hopes of getting a smallish $25 million hotel from it. Pretty lousy return on investment.. and hotels are going up in West Augusta all the time with no government subsidy. The voters need to hold the politicians accountable on this. If you don't, then you will get exactly what you deserve?? screwed.

austinevans
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austinevans 12/07/09 - 10:28 pm
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Fisher, did you an ol Joe

Fisher, did you an ol Joe have your drink Fri last?

Emerydan
9
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Emerydan 12/07/09 - 10:37 pm
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I hope Al Mason runs for

I hope Al Mason runs for Mayor.

austinevans
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austinevans 12/07/09 - 10:46 pm
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emery, mason will sink like

emery, mason will sink like the proverbial "turd'" in a punch bowl. he showed his true colors just days before the run off--All he is now is a has been!

fishman960
1420
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fishman960 12/07/09 - 11:06 pm
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Austine, I had the date set

Austine, I had the date set but I had an unforeseen conflict arise. Sure wish I was on that boat, though. We will try this week. You interested in joining?

business owner again
0
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business owner again 12/08/09 - 12:47 am
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Mr. Hatney, I used your name

Mr. Hatney, I used your name instead of Mr. Mason's earlier ... oops ... but then again, they are interchangeable.

tired of the crap
0
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tired of the crap 12/08/09 - 02:18 am
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yes all it was, was about

yes all it was, was about blackmail to get their way. now i guarentee i can tell you what gets built first. and it wont be the tee center.

1941
4
Points
1941 12/08/09 - 06:25 am
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There is nothing in augusta,

There is nothing in augusta, that rate spending that kind of money, to build a center.There is nothing in augusta!! Why would people, from big cities come here? Once a year, for golf? Then augusta is forgotten again for a year!! This is one of the most racist cities, I have ever read about!!Just read the post from the articiles that are printed, race come up in every articile!!The money could have been spent to CLEAN up, and TEAR down, all those empty, ugly areas of augusta!!!

oh man
0
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oh man 12/08/09 - 10:17 am
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WHAT A GREAT OPPORTUNITY . .

WHAT A GREAT OPPORTUNITY . . . . for north augusta and columbia county. This is just another sign that richmond county augusta is going further down hill. Wow Both na and columbia county are growing like crazy with a steady tax base and yet augusta can spend but it is not growing nor is it improving anything it already has. Its not race issues hurting augusta its stupidity. so when will augusta be brankrupt and what happens to a city/county that has no money . do they get taken over by the state or what.

bobaisgaf
5
Points
bobaisgaf 12/08/09 - 06:02 pm
0
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Such a joke! Another

Such a joke! Another disaster for the city of Augusta. The politicians and the people that elected them are all to blame.

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