Talks on new Augusta GreenJackets stadium continue

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 4:38 PM
Last updated 10:09 PM
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Involving local tax dollars in construction of a new stadium complex for the Augusta GreenJackets remains an option, although the dollars won’t be coming from the city’s general fund, City Administrator Fred Russell said.

Russell said he had another “wide-ranging conversation” Wednesday about the proposal with two representatives from Ripken Baseball Group.

“They understand that there have to be a significant amount of private dollars to make it work,” Russell said, “but they understand the constraints I have about that.”

The constraints include not using general fund tax dollars for the project, but the city’s next referendum on a special-purpose, local option sales tax is too far off to be a potential funding source, Russell said.

The stadium was originally proposed as a $38.7 million rescue for the abandoned former home of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame. Ripken representatives have said they prefer the downtown riverfront tract but are open to other locations.

Augusta has seen no movement by the Georgia Properties Commission toward sale of the surplus land, which “has not been eliminated” as an option – “but neither has any site,” Russell said.

Wednesday’s meeting, arranged as a continuation of talks between the administrator and the Ripken Group that began July 1, showed the group remains “committed to the project,” he said.

“Once we get a few of the location issues tied down, I think we’ll talk about funding sources,” Russell said.

The commission voted 6-3 in June to “develop a transaction plan” for a multipurpose stadium complex.

A 2010 straw poll taken on the Richmond County Democratic Party ballot found 77 percent of voters opposed to spending public money to replace Lake Olmstead Stadium, the GreenJackets’ current home, and 66 percent would seek a referendum if public money is used to develop the former golf hall site.

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omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 08/31/11 - 03:42 pm
0
0
dag yo, where all the

dag yo, where all the 'publicans screaming about the gubmint giving away free lunches?

allhans
24886
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allhans 08/31/11 - 03:53 pm
0
0
If they can raise enough

If they can raise enough private funds, then I have no argument. If the electorate votes for a tax increase to help with the funding, I have no problem.

Just don't do the deal behind closed doors and expect taxpayers to foot the bill.

countyman
21632
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countyman 08/31/11 - 03:53 pm
0
0
The 2010 straw poll didn't

The 2010 straw poll didn't include any republicans or independents living in Richmond County.. The only people who got the chance to vote were 10%-12% of the democratic population in the county.

The best location by far is along the Riverwalk downtown.. The tourist who visit Augusta come to see the architecure, history, riverwalk, etc downtown.

Riverman1
93737
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Riverman1 08/31/11 - 04:01 pm
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I d double dare anyone to

I d double dare anyone to have a referendum on a stadium. Republicans are even less likely to support it.

countyman
21632
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countyman 08/31/11 - 04:05 pm
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If the 10 things below start

If the 10 things below start by the year 2015. Augusta can distance it's self from many of it's competitors(Greenville, Savannah, Columbia, Charleston, Chattanooga, Lexington, Little Rock, Jackson, Baton Rouge, Greensboro, Winston Salem, Durham, etc)
1. Baseball stadium/entertaintment project
2. Renovated Sibley Mill(mix/use building similar to Enterprise but with more residential)
3. Light rail: Connect Broad, Reynolds, Medical District, and possibly North Augusta.
4. Regency mall( bmx/skate park, tennis courts, baseball/softball fields, walking trails, basketball courts, soccer fields: outlet mall: government offices)
5. GHSU bio-tech/research park downtown(CBD or Laney Walker)
6. Renovation of the former Davidson(commercial/residential)
7. Renovation of the Miller theatre
8. Performing arts center on the downtown(riverfront)
9. New arena(17k-22k seat)
10. Greenspace(large park downtown and greenspace around the county)

countyman
21632
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countyman 08/31/11 - 04:20 pm
0
0
I wouldn't be so sure about

I wouldn't be so sure about that. The 18-40 age group living in Augusta would definitely support the idea.. After working a 9-5 all week my age groups wants to have fun. 90% of the democrats in Richmond County didn't even vote.. Plus the straw poll was taken when several people didn't know Jim Jacoby was involved.. Jim Jacoby builds developments similar to the Atlantic Station in Atlanta and not baseball stadiums.

The Saturday Market has become one of the most succesful events in Augusta. The event generates enough income from the sponsors alone to support the market. People can walk from the Saturday Market at one end of the Riverwalk.. All the way to the other side of the Riverwalk and watch a baseball game, dine, etc..

Riverman1
93737
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Riverman1 08/31/11 - 04:22 pm
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0
Yep, it looks like the cabal

Yep, it looks like the cabal is moving along. Anyone feel like giving up?

It does appear they can't quite figure out how to pay for it though if the money can't come from the general fund and the Splost is too far away. Mayor Copenhaver-Boardman will think of something, though. One thing is for sure, as he said, they'll be creative and won't have a referendum on it.

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 08/31/11 - 04:19 pm
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If any public funds are used

If any public funds are used for this then the public should vote. 77% against it is pretty huge, even if it was just one party. last time I checked RC voted majority for democrats. I also don't see republicans and independents favoring this. maybe the republicans will have a straw poll next year on their primary ballot to prove to ppl like countyman that there is widespread opposition to this ballpark across all party lines.

countyman
21632
Points
countyman 08/31/11 - 04:27 pm
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BevBoudreauX... Only 10% of

BevBoudreauX... Only 10% of Democrats got the chance to vote in the poll(90% of democrats didn't vote)... It's funny how the people who complain about the TEE Center, turn around and try using the straw poll..

The splost vote(TEE center)attracted the majority democratic, republican, independent voters(not 10% of one party).. While you can argue about the final cost of the TEE Center.. The majority of voters in RC supported the idea..

seenitB4
97601
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seenitB4 08/31/11 - 04:25 pm
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0
Do you want fries with that

Do you want fries with that ballpark???

It is going down the throat.....hope they grease it so some can swallow the whole theeeeng..
Watch countyman---he will watch & post on this thread till the ink runs dry!!

shep827
0
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shep827 08/31/11 - 04:29 pm
0
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although a complex would look

although a complex would look nice on the river, whats wrong with the current location. if they move the stadium whats happens to lake olmstead park, tear it down and build another housing project. with the kroc center being 2 blocks away i think would enhance the area more by refurbishing the current stadium.

seenitB4
97601
Points
seenitB4 08/31/11 - 04:29 pm
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South Augusta people.....Do

South Augusta people.....Do you have ANYTHING to say?

Tax paying South Augusta residents.......can you READ...?!?!?!

Riverman1
93737
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Riverman1 08/31/11 - 04:31 pm
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0
SeenIt, is this amazing or

SeenIt, is this amazing or what? They just do what they want. Wild.

seenitB4
97601
Points
seenitB4 08/31/11 - 04:36 pm
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0
AMAZING GRACE.....More

AMAZING GRACE.....More letters are needed---phone calls to the commish & Sheriff ...heck they might furlough more police to make this thing happen....UNBELIEVABLE...
Say--- could the teachers take another hit---or bus drivers---lordy-lordy...maybe the firefighters...or get rid of the aerial trucks going to fires.. they will find the $$$$ somewhere....watch this happen.

countyman
21632
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countyman 08/31/11 - 04:37 pm
0
0
Shep827... Cal Ripken and Jim

Shep827... Cal Ripken and Jim Jacoby don't want to invest millions into the current stadium.. The Greenjackets stadium was renovated a few years ago already.. The riverfront location is by far the better choice.. There's no room for residential, restaurants, etc next to Lake Olmstead unless you demolish Olmstead Homes(public housing).. The city of Augusta is tearing down housing projects(Gilbert Manor and Underwoods) and not building new one's..

ASU, Paine College, and local high schools teams can use Lake Olmstead.. Weddings and outdoor concerts can be held at the stadium..

The GGHF is empty, growing weeds, and producing zero tax base.. I think people need to realize RC is alot younger than it's surrounding counties.. The population is more likely to want things to do on the weekends.

seenitB4
97601
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seenitB4 08/31/11 - 04:42 pm
0
0
Soon the black leaders will

Soon the black leaders will run Augusta---just a matter of time---the more ppl leaving Richmond county makes the majority black even stronger....blackSheriff-Mayor- etc. remember Atlanta Ga politics...with this going down I'm sure many will want out of the Richmond county system.........so you might say ....they could be digging their own grave(so to speak).

seenitB4
97601
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seenitB4 08/31/11 - 04:47 pm
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0
Hahah...yep they are younger

Hahah...yep they are younger allright.....some just RENT & don't pay residential taxes either....so yeh they want a lot of things on other ppl dime.....don't pay school taxes either....

countyman
21632
Points
countyman 08/31/11 - 05:01 pm
0
0
The county is already

The county is already slightly majority black and elected a white mayor(with 65% of the vote) in two straight elections.

Also, Augusta is growing much faster this decade compared to the last decade.. The CBD and parts of the Inner city of Augusta are becoming whiter and not blacker.. Matt Aitken won district 1 back in the year 2009.

The majority black areas of Augusta will be parts of the inner city, parts of South Augusta, and East Augusta.

seenitB4
97601
Points
seenitB4 08/31/11 - 05:04 pm
0
0
What kind of medicine makes

What kind of medicine makes one day dream all day??...I want some of that stuff......

Look at it this way....the firefighters & police will have more days off to go to the games at the park BECAUSE they will have furlough days....hey maybe they can get a side job at the concession booth or parking lots...I'm sure they will be pleased.....:(
astis will tell us I'm sure..

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/31/11 - 05:06 pm
0
0
The city could be burning,

The city could be burning, Deke could be playing his fiddle and there will still be a push to build a baseball stadium.

Is this what they mean by a "green" mayor?

tomcasey
-2
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tomcasey 08/31/11 - 05:06 pm
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0
Wasn't there a TV poll as

Wasn't there a TV poll as well that also did not want another taxpayer funded project specifically the downtown baseball stadium. Here is a easy answer to the problem, put it to a vote in 2012 then everyone it will be laid to rest. What is the reason to rush into this?

tomcasey
-2
Points
tomcasey 08/31/11 - 05:08 pm
0
0
You know if the Mayor wants

You know if the Mayor wants his stadium why doesn't he just go get it privately founded by his family, extended family and the Ripken organization. I mean I have no problem with that plan.

Everyone knows why that want occur, because baseball stadiums unless you have a major league franchise plunked down in it (and even then it isn't a lock) are not a money maker.

shep827
0
Points
shep827 08/31/11 - 05:12 pm
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0
im not sure if a public owned

im not sure if a public owned facility pays taxes but that is beside the point. im more worried about the use of the current satdium if it moves downtown. Paine and Augusta College using it will be a waste of money because the city will still have to maintain it. I kbnow they have refurbished the satdium once before (15 yrs ago) and attendence more than doubled. If you are worried about tax base, how much will we lose if we move it compared to how much will we gain.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/31/11 - 05:12 pm
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0
countyman, how much of your

countyman, how much of your personal money are you willing to put toward a downtown stadium?

Brad Owens
4906
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Brad Owens 08/31/11 - 05:31 pm
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This is so perfect for this

This is so perfect for this story too...

Well, I am thoroughly disgusted by all this and the STADIUM. It seems that nothing has changed at all in the over half a decade I have been gone.

The same so-called developers are still selling the same rotten bill of goods using the same tried and tested methods of bilking us dry.

What really bothers, and disillusions me the most is the fact that no one really cares. I mean NO ONE gives a damn if they steal every silver nickel we ever pay into the public coffers.

They are too busy “keeping up with the Kardashians” or getting fatter off of the unhealthy food they eat (that consumerist America can’t seem to get enough of shoving down their gullet) to care about the robbing of our collective house.

I am reminded of why I left politics and Augusta itself.

My taxes have increased every year for the past ten and what do I get for it? What do any of us get for it huh?

Greed deception and abuse of power is always the plan with the CABAL.

The DDA gets everything they want and we get the bill.

The CABAL gets to push this unneeded and unwanted project while the needs are left untended to and people suffer.

It seems that no one cares, oh sure a few of us loud mouthed wannabes sit online and post comments that talk about the problems while the Lori Davis’ of the world duck firefights in our own backyard.

Studies, studies, and more studies tell us that we need more studies

All the time the answers are right in front of us if we just had the will to move one finger to press the right button on election day.

Leaders like Bill Lockett and Al Mason are called obstructionist for asking questions of the people they have been hired by us to manage.

That is insane, I mean I want my commissioners to ask questions and make sure that our tax dollars are not being wasted.

I am going to ask Al to find out why this is talking anout FUNDING when they were not suppose to talk about FUNDING.

Absolutely disgusting, and the MOST disgusting part is that most people in Augusta could not care less if the STADIUM cost $1.00 or $200,000,000.00

That is why I am just a gadfly in the greater scheme of things, because all I can do is buzz around and annoy some folks, I doubt I even annoy anyone really anymore.

This is a lost cause, go ahead an band your heads against the wall till you knock yourself out.

It seems that no matter what we do, no one cares and nothing changes.

As the Joker says, "This town needs an enema"

Pressing needs verses prestigious wants,

LTC. Brad "Gadfly" Owens

countyman
21632
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countyman 08/31/11 - 05:50 pm
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0
Weddings have been held in

Weddings have been held in the Lake Olmstead area before..

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 08/31/11 - 05:55 pm
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0
No answer to my question?

No answer to my question? Exactly.

People are quick to spend someone else's money, but aren't so foolish with their own.

tomcasey
-2
Points
tomcasey 08/31/11 - 06:03 pm
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0
Brad 'Gadfly' Owens nice

Brad 'Gadfly' Owens nice reading...

I wonder why they are afraid to put the proposed downtown stadium on a ballot initiative?

Yes, lets see the CABAL and now the sons and daughter of the CABAL put their money up for the stadium as a nice payback for all the decades of avarice, corruption and influence peddling that was conducted under the guise of civic good for the people of Augusta.

The people are waiting!

corgimom
38470
Points
corgimom 08/31/11 - 06:14 pm
0
0
"People can walk from the

"People can walk from the Saturday Market at one end of the Riverwalk.. All the way to the other side of the Riverwalk and watch a baseball game, dine, etc.."

Oh, absolutely. They could buy a bunch of fresh vegetables at the market, lug them all the way up to a stadium, lug them all the way back to their car.

Or lock them in their car for hours while they walk along the Riverwalk and watch a baseball game. And by the time they got back, their formerly fresh produce would be uneatable.

The whole point of buying fresh produce from markets is that it's not treated for storage and it deteriorates quickly.

Honest to God, Countyman, where do you come up with this stuff that bears no relation to reality?

corgimom
38470
Points
corgimom 08/31/11 - 06:17 pm
0
0
1. Baseball

1. Baseball stadium/entertaintment project
2. Renovated Sibley Mill(mix/use building similar to Enterprise but with more residential)
3. Light rail: Connect Broad, Reynolds, Medical District, and possibly North Augusta.
4. Regency mall( bmx/skate park, tennis courts, baseball/softball fields, walking trails, basketball courts, soccer fields: outlet mall: government offices)
5. GHSU bio-tech/research park downtown(CBD or Laney Walker)
6. Renovation of the former Davidson(commercial/residential)
7. Renovation of the Miller theatre
8. Performing arts center on the downtown(riverfront)
9. New arena(17k-22k seat)
10. Greenspace(large park downtown and greenspace around the county)

Oh, yeah. In 4 years A-RC can come up with millions and millions of dollars while they are furloughing police officers and firefighters.

That is SO doable, I can hardly wait.

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