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Todd Glover tells Aiken audience Project Jackson value

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AIKEN — North Augusta City Administrator Todd Glover on Friday made a pitch for the city’s Project Jackson stadium and hotel project to the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce.

The $143 million riverfront development, to be funded partly with county taxes, requires approval by the Aiken County school board and the Aiken County Council. The school system gave its OK on Aug. 13 after North Augusta limited the system’s participation and increased financial incentives, but the council chose to approve the deal by ordinance, requiring three separate votes. The council has voted “yes” to the plan once so far and could take another vote after a public hearing scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Aiken Technical College.

Glover told the large chamber crowd gathered for the start of Aiken’s annual Aiken’s Makin’ arts and crafts festival that he sought to dispel myths and misconceptions about the project.

For one, he said, the 25-acre project isn’t merely a stadium project but also includes a hotel, a conference center and other amenities. The stadium will be available for 10,000-seat concerts and sports events such as soccer and Masters Week golf events in addition to holding 70 home games of the Augusta GreenJackets baseball team, he said.

For at least four years, the GreenJackets sought a new home in Augusta to replace Lake Olmstead Stadium, but after no deal materialized, turned to North Augusta. Public reaction has been mixed to the public-private proposal, which under South Carolina law requires the development area to carry the designation of “blighted.”

The construction of Project Jackson, which must be completed in two years, will create or sustain 2,705 jobs, and the completed project will sustain 1,000 permanent jobs but a precise count of new jobs being created is not known, Glover said.

North Augusta is seeking to use the incremental property tax increases across a 457-acre special tax district to fund the development. For example, on a $100,000 home whose value rises to $110,000 as a result of the development, the project would take the difference in property tax revenue of $52.68.

As residents later paraded through downtown Aiken to celebrate the festival’s start, Richard Mixson said he supports the project and believes it will benefit the city of Aiken and Aiken County as a whole, with the stadium and hotel drawing an audience from surrounding counties into North Augusta.

Mixson said that North Augusta has deftly handled other developments such as the North Augusta Greeneway and that he expects the same with Project Jackson.

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dwb619
91144
Points
dwb619 09/06/13 - 02:45 pm
7
0
1000

Did he really mean 1000 PERMANENT jobs?
I would like to see a breakdown of these jobs and their pay range.
For the record, I am neither for or against the Jackson Project. However, I oppose all of Aiken County paying for it. As I have said before, "if North Augusta wants it, let North Augusta pay for it".

etlinks
20256
Points
etlinks 09/06/13 - 12:50 pm
7
0
Aiken Standard article with commish Scott Singer

Fred Ilardi lives about 1,200 feet from the property and said he's not a fan of the idea of living near a facility that will bring in a lot of noise and traffic.
Ilardi also pointed out that the land has to be deemed “blighted” to qualify for tax incremental funding under state law.
“It's been called blighted – it's absolutely gorgeous,” Ilardi said about the property. “They're going to take beautiful property and destroy it.”
North Augusta resident Pat Donohue concurred, stating that something beautiful and charming should go onto that property, not a “big, hostile stadium.”
Singer didn't give an inkling of how he plans to vote on this item but said his role is to determine if this would be positive or negative for Aiken County residents as a whole.
From the feedback Singer's gathered, 60 percent of people from North Augusta who have contacted him are for Project Jackson. But approximately seven out of every 10 people in Aiken County who have contacted Singer are against it.
“They don't think North Augusta should be getting by on our nickel,” Singer said.

I don't think the folks in Aiken county agree with this project.

i-feel-older-2day
72
Points
i-feel-older-2day 09/06/13 - 01:13 pm
0
10
I, one vote, hope this

I, one vote, hope this passes. My family will enjoy the park, restaurants and the entertainment that follows. I don't mind that my tax dollars support this in the short and long haul.

Susan McCord
127
Points
Susan McCord 09/06/13 - 02:34 pm
4
0
DWB619

OK, Todd Glover did say "create or sustain" both of those jobs numbers. I'm seeking more info about actual job creation numbers.

Sean Moores
191
Points
Sean Moores 09/06/13 - 02:34 pm
10
0
"blighted"

I'm surprised no one picked up on the designation of the area where Project Jackson will be built as "blighted." Downtown Augusta is a "slum" and downtown North Augusta is "blighted." I wonder if Hammond's Ferry thinks that area is "blighted."

bdouglas
4899
Points
bdouglas 09/06/13 - 02:45 pm
3
2
"“It's been called blighted –

"“It's been called blighted – it's absolutely gorgeous,” Ilardi said about the property. “They're going to take beautiful property and destroy it.”
North Augusta resident Pat Donohue concurred, stating that something beautiful and charming should go onto that property, not a “big, hostile stadium.”"

While I agree and wouldn't exactly call the property "blighted", his idea of it being gorgeous might be a bit of a stretch and is certainly in the eye of the beholder. Anyone thinking that the City of NA would put only a “big, hostile stadium” on the property and not a beautiful, well-planned and landscaped development has clearly forgotten the areas that the city has beautified in the past 10-15 years. I can understand concerns about noise and traffic, but I don't think they'll be nearly the issue those folks make it out to be. Lake Olmstead Stadium is in every bit of as residential an area as this project will be, and there haven't been any major issues there. I also call into question the 1,000 permanent jobs this would sustain, as that sounds pretty high to me for a stadium staff (many of which probably won't be new jobs, just transferred), hotel staff, apartment managers and retail shops/restaurants. I hope it is absolutely accurate, though.

countyman
19718
Points
countyman 09/06/13 - 03:48 pm
2
9
Sean.... Double

Sean.... Double standard..

The same people complain about the TEE Center, but don't bring up the exhibition hall in Grovetown or the proposed conference center with project Jackson. I think we all know what area is better equip to attract the larger events/conventions.

Gage Creed
16722
Points
Gage Creed 09/06/13 - 04:37 pm
5
0
Lot's of tippy toes around

Lot's of tippy toes around the slum designation...

annw
15
Points
annw 09/06/13 - 04:57 pm
5
0
One thing that I haven't heard discussed throughout all of this

is whether or not a conference center is viable in NA. The Augusta TEE center just opened a few months ago and just in the last few weeks Columbia County, GA has also opened a conference and event center in Evans. Are there any studies that show that a Metro area of about a half million can support three different conference and event centers?

countyman
19718
Points
countyman 09/06/13 - 05:26 pm
1
8
exhibition hall

The exhibition hall in Columbia County is located near the Gateway shopping center.. The center is outside of the Grovetown city limits, but the address is still Grovetown.

The metro area is close to 600k, and the CSRA is over 700k people.

Riverman1
82235
Points
Riverman1 09/06/13 - 06:19 pm
6
1
The Grovetown Exhibition

The Grovetown Exhibition Center is much different than the TEE Center. The YMCA and other fitness organizations use the 50,000 sq ft smaller facility also. So it's always being put to good use. It's more of a community entity.

Gage Creed
16722
Points
Gage Creed 09/06/13 - 06:28 pm
6
0
So when you throw in the JBA

So when you throw in the JBA and the Bell along with the amphitheaters it's starting to seem the market may be saturated....

Beattybugs
426
Points
Beattybugs 09/06/13 - 10:21 pm
3
1
Mr. Glover, are you serious?

"The stadium will be available for 10,000-seat concerts . . . "

bdouglas
4899
Points
bdouglas 09/07/13 - 12:45 am
3
2
@Beattybugs: Are you doubting

@Beattybugs: Are you doubting the number or...? Lake Olmstead Stadium seats nearly 5,000 in the stands. If you put a stage in center field with additional seating on the field, I don't see why 10K would be that unbelievable. Now, that many people actually showing up for an outdoor concert in the CSRA is another issue entirely. But possible to hold 10K? Probably.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
7387
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 09/07/13 - 06:13 am
6
0
Parking and Property Values

Where will these 10,000 people attending these games park. In someone's driveway? What about their property values, not now, now in 5 years, but in 10 years when it's not maintained properly. What will it do to surrounding property values?

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
7387
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 09/07/13 - 06:15 am
3
1
10,000 seats

If you can sell 10,000 seats for a concert you can draw bigger names than the JBA or the Bell!!!

etlinks
20256
Points
etlinks 09/07/13 - 07:08 am
5
0
Countyman this article is NOT

Countyman this article is NOT about Columbia Co or the Tee center and bdouglas are you comparing Lake Olmstead area to Hammonds Ferry and The River Course area? Thats a joke.

WeAreAllInfected
111
Points
WeAreAllInfected 09/07/13 - 08:11 am
4
1
1,000 permanent jobs

assuming this is real. north augusta is going to need more low income housing... they could just cross the bridge and live in augusta though

Beattybugs
426
Points
Beattybugs 09/09/13 - 06:51 am
6
0
@Beattybugs: Are you doubting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzG

Yes, I am.
I am also doubting Mr. Glover's ability to do math. He keeps changing his numbers. Constantly.
I also doubt his and, except for Jimmy Adams, the whole North Augusta City Councils' sense of fairness and decency to their fellow man.
Just exactly across the river from the proposed horror show of a stadium, is a row of riverfront homes. The lives of those homeowners will be destroyed with a stadium.
Imagine the noise and lights they will have to endure.
I wonder if Mr. Glover has spent one second considering the damaging effects this stadium will have on them, on Hammond's Ferry and the River Club. For some reason the people in Hammond's Ferry who are against the stadium have been silenced. But, you can be sure that every home that doesn't display a thumbs up sign is against it.
And, that represents a whole lot of homeowners there.
More than anything, this project has revealed who is who in this region.
Apparently, in spite of all the filled churches on Sunday mornings, the most basic, the oldest and most easily understood tenet of human wisdom, the Golden Rule, has been forgotten.

bdouglas
4899
Points
bdouglas 09/07/13 - 11:05 am
2
4
@etlinks

I'm not comparing Lake Olmstead to Hammond's Ferr or the River Club at all. Not even remotely what I said. I only pointed out that traffic and noise were not major issues at Olmstead and shouldn't be any more of an issue at this proposed location. Of course it could be detrimental to property values if it doesn't do well, but the same is true with any development.

bdouglas
4899
Points
bdouglas 09/07/13 - 11:12 am
4
2
@beattybugs

Exactly what numbers has Mr Glover been changing? The only numbers I've seen change are the tax numbers related to the school system vs county vs city of NA, but those were due to the requests of the district. Saying "the lives of these homeowners will be destroyed" is a bit melodramatic. I honestly don't care which way this goes. I think there are plenty of positives with the project, and some negatives, too. But even as a nearby SC resident and Richmond county work commuter, this won't make me attend any more baseball games than I already do, and probably won't make me dine down that way any more than I already do if the restaurants cost as much as what's already in Hammond's Ferry.

jimmymac
36955
Points
jimmymac 09/07/13 - 11:36 am
1
0
BALL PARK
Unpublished

This ball park will be a boondoggle that the tax payers will support down the road. No municipal park is self supporting. It will never deliver the pie in the sky promises being spun by it's supporters.

Beattybugs
426
Points
Beattybugs 09/07/13 - 11:46 am
4
1
Numbers -- Ah Yes the Numbers

No economist, and there are quite a few, who has studied the impact of stadiums and teams in a community has ever found positive economic impact from a Class A team or a stadium. That is a fact.

Mr.Glover and the city use a "Three Rivers" model which is a formula not research. You plug in construction money and the type of activity, and the formula spits out jobs created. So they claim the stadium will create 300 jobs, and the 900-car parking deck will create 30 jobs. This is the same formula used by the Feds in justifying the $830B stimulus bill that all economists agree did not generate the jobs they claimed it would.

So you can believe your lying eyes, or you can buy the formula. I'm going with my eyes.

willie Lee
417
Points
willie Lee 09/07/13 - 09:10 pm
4
0
Truth
Unpublished

You all have missed the point. Please do not blame Mr. Glover, as he is just a puppet of the NA city council which is telling him what to say. The city “will” make a large sum over the years in “use” taxes and other fees charged for the use and accommodations of the hotel, conference center and stadium. It is just good economics for the city to have someone else pay for the initial construction. That someone else are the citizens of Aiken County that will realize none of the benefits of the project. Project Jackson is a self serving endeavor of NA with the caveat of not having to pay for the cost themselves. Anyone outside of the city limits should recognize the truth behind the NA application. If it were a true benefit to everyone, then some private enterprise would have jumped at the idea to develop the property as proposed. As it is, anyone outside the city of NA would be foolish to support this type of tax payer expense with no return to the general population. Taxes will go up in Aiken County for the cost of this project as the old adage is very truthful. “There is no free lunch”

Beattybugs
426
Points
Beattybugs 09/08/13 - 09:00 am
4
0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzGcAeCM6F0

If every Aiken County resident watched this video they wouldn't miss the Aiken County Council meeting to be held this Tuesday night at 6PM.
That's when your tax dollars are going to be earmarked for this thing... or not.
The video explains how pro stadiums and teams bring no economic impact to the communities that build them -- as shown repeatedly in research papers.
Take the Aiken-Augusta Highway to Aiken Technical College and let your voices tip the scale.

Aiken
21
Points
Aiken 09/08/13 - 11:36 am
3
0
Project Jackson

As a resident of the south side of Aiken and socially active..horses, country club circuit member who plays golf, tennis, and attends church socials, etc. My husband and I and our family and and friends have yet to encounter anyone who is 'Pro; Project Jackson. Many quip "Right,If they build it "They" will come". Many reference the reasons they chose to make Aiken home and reiterate this certainly was Never included in their vision, nor retirement plans. Projects such as this are not visionary they generally line the pockets of a select special interest 'old boys club' and leave the communities high and dry. This has the potential to drive out the very residents who moved here to invest in the community and preserve what Aiken represents. If we wanted to live in an industrial blighted community.. we would have moved to Detroit. North Augusta, will not benefit, instead both AIKEN and NA will decline, as will the quality of life. If it were to contribute anything to the region it will be as welcome as traffic congestion, widening roads and perennial garbage gardens along with noise. The tax payers aren't going to foot this bill? Who is kidding who ? It's a plan of projections and "If's" and will bring down the area as we ultimately look out and notice the North Augusta area.. resembling downtown Augusta and it's rows of abandoned properties, empty sidewalks and yes it is blighted and destitute and depressing. This project if passed will be a black eye to the region.. and the community and not one soon to heal. The consequences and long term negative impact is where attention needs to be directed. SRS is laying off how many and who exactly is going to pay to attend this venue? Our family and friends have yet to attend any event at James Brown Arena that was packed. A prospective success for whom exactly? And who are "They" that will come? This is a preliminary pocket liner and that is the one sure thing. It has nothing to do with education but everything to do with greed.

Beattybugs
426
Points
Beattybugs 09/08/13 - 01:33 pm
3
0
Aiken! Please post your excellent letter in the Aiken Standard

http://www.aikenstandard.com/article/20130907/AIK0101/130909521/project-...

And, please post to Facebook, enter Project Jackson North Augusta no name required. If you like, I will post for you.

Momentum is building and your words are too good not to share with as many Aiken County residents as we can.
Thank you!

Graniteville Girl
64
Points
Graniteville Girl 09/08/13 - 02:11 pm
2
0
North Augusta versus Greenville, SC

Guess what...regardless how Mr. Glover spins this, asking for taxpayer monies to fund the TIF is a LOAN of public funds - 30 YRS into the future....another FACT - Greenville's Fluor Field and the stadium model they used for economic development cannot be compared to North Augusta. WHY? Greenville total population - 55,279/2011 - 56,679/2005; North Augusta population - 21,873/2011 - 19,467/2005 ... with North Augusta less than half the population size. In fact, Greenville County is more than twice as large as Aiken County in population size, and is listed as THE most populous county in SC - Greenville Co. 461,299/2011 - Aiken County - 160,682/2011. If you google Greenville's Fluor Field statistics, Construction costs in 2005 to build the stadium (BY PRIVATE FUNDS) was $15 Million. Guestimates provided by North Augusta City have ranged anywhere between $28-$30 million and depends on the venue you're at as the figures quoted. Knowing ALL of this, the final fact is there was NO growth in Greenville as a direct result of Fluor Field coming to the city or the county as a whole; in fact, there was a decline in their population, although I didn't research for the direct cause of that decline. Point - Fluor Field did NOT attract population growth...Now, since Fluor Field seats 5,700 and the current Lake Olmstead field for the Green Jackets seats 4,800 (with less than half that in ticket sales on average), how can anyone believe more people will attend the Green Jacket's game in North Augusta????? Where in the World did Mr. Glover come up with 10,000 seats???? Last fact to note, where are the people traveling from Augusta (Richmond County) to???? Columbia County, GA - go sit at the corner of Washington Rd and Scott Nixon Rd. OR Washington Rd and Bobby Jones Expressway intersections any day of the week in that traffic to find out for yourself...

jleyes
24
Points
jleyes 09/08/13 - 09:21 pm
1
3
Project Jackson is a Home Run

Wow can't believe all the misinformation that Donohoue and minion are throwing out there. $100M+ in private dollars ---FACT
The stadium is part of the remaining TIF financing the entire amount - that includes a parking deck and a conference center that is part of the hotel. The area is blighted - by definition as the land was a former brick making factory and certainly needs remediation. This project is a huge benefit to Aiken County and the main proponents just hate the idea of a ballpark --- not a TIF. There is a serious amount of private investment, a $100M+ is not insignificant. Second the TIF is not a tax on the citizens, it is financing created from the improvement on the land. No project = no improvement, but I'm sure Beattybugs will tell you otherwise. However the actual owners of the land will tell you he's wrong unless you count maybe a general store or something. If you think $100M isn't going to create jobs that's crazy. Fortunately, people can see through some of the folks who just don't want a stadium and are making this a stadium issue when the stadium is like 20% of the total project.

Aiken
21
Points
Aiken 09/08/13 - 09:12 pm
3
0
Beattybugs, Thank you for

Beattybugs, Thank you for your kind words. Please feel free to take the liberty of posting my comment accordingly.. . Albeit, I should have proof read it more closely prior to publishing! I do hope that the powers that be will act in the best interests of the community as a whole and and our future.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Aiken! Please post your excellent letter in the Aiken Standard

http://www.aikenstandard.com/article/20130907/AIK0101/130909521/project-...

And, please post to Facebook, enter Project Jackson North Augusta no name required. If you like, I will post for you.

Momentum is building and your words are too good not to share with as many Aiken County residents as we can.
Thank you!

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