Mayor Hardie Davis’ push to build an arena at the vacant Regency Mall site goes back before the Augusta Commission for a vote Tuesday.
The agenda item – to settle on Regency as the preferred site and continue negotiations with mall owner Cardinal Management – returns despite a commission vote to reject it last month.
Commissioner Marion Williams, who favors the site, returned it to last week’s committee cycle, which is allowed under commission rules. It moves to the full commission Tuesday without a committee recommendation.
“It will probably end up the same way” and be rejected again, Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle said. “I think there’s better things to do with Regency Mall.”
Commissioner Dennis Williams, one of seven commissioners to reject the plan, said his mind hadn’t changed either.
“It’s a bad deal,” Williams said.
Over the weekend, Commissioner Sammie Sias detailed his objections to each point in Cardinal’s latest proposal as not beneficial to the city. Sias also rejected settling on the Regency site, then attempting to negotiate with Cardinal.
“But you’ve lost your leverage. That’s baloney. I guess it’s easy when you’re playing with somebody else’s money,” Sias said at a District 4 community breakfast.
IN OTHER ACTION
Also Tuesday, at noon the city’s pension and audit subcommittee is expected to hear a report from Rocky Joyner of Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System on increasing the multiplier used to calculate employee retirement benefits to 2 percent.
The move, pushed by public safety employees, would benefit all employees under the GMEBS plan, but could require employees or the government to contribute more to the plan. Current projected benefits for the plan are 92 percent funded by contributions, Joyner said in September.
The commission voted in December for Joyner to give the report to the full commission Jan. 16, and Sias put a motion to receive the report on Tuesday’s regular meeting agenda as well.