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Project Jackson passes second council vote

Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 9:41 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 12:57 AM
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The city of North Augusta is even closer to receiving approval from the Aiken County Council for its role in Project Jackson.

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North Augusta Mayor Lark Jones speaks in favor of the project at the Aiken County Council meeting.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
North Augusta Mayor Lark Jones speaks in favor of the project at the Aiken County Council meeting.

The county council voted 6-3 in favor of the second reading of the plan during a special meeting that included a public hearing Tuesday night at Aiken Technical College.

Before the vote, the council heard from dozens of people about the Tax Increment Financing district, which would be used to help fund Project Jackson, in a hearing that lasted a little more than three hours.

Boos and shouts of encouragement could be heard periodically from the crowd during statements from supporters and opponents.

At one point, as North Augusta Mayor Lark Jones spoke, the crowd’s response prompted the Council Chairman Ronnie Young to sternly remind the audience to “be ladies and gentlemen about this thing.”

Many who spoke in favor of the project cited growth, improving the quality of life and job creation.

Several who spoke in opposition were mostly against the public-private partnership and instead suggested that the project be completed using only private funds. Many also encouraged the decision-makers to let the project go to referendum so that the residents of Aiken County could decide.

County Councilman Phil Napier made a motion for a referendum, but only he and Willar Hightower voted for it.

Debbie Nix, a resident of Aiken, said her concern was that the council was basing its vote on numbers that are “not a sure thing,” she said.

“But obviously that’s OK. It’s what they wanted to do, it looks like,” she said.

Nix said she was glad for the opportunity for a public hearing, but also felt that the council didn’t really listen to what people had to say.

“The people came out tonight and they spoke. Not certain they were heard, but they spoke,” she said.

The third and final ordinance reading will be held Tuesday during the regular council meeting.

In the next week, there’s still more work to be done, said North Augusta City Administrator Todd Glover.

“I think there were a lot of comments made tonight that we can easily accommodate,” he said. “We’ll do that because we’ve asked for a partnership. When you do that, you have to take into account what your partners are asking for and that’s what we wanted to do from the beginning.”

Comments (11) Add comment
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Little Lamb
48858
Points
Little Lamb 09/10/13 - 08:46 pm
7
1
Only a headline at this moment in time . . .

. . . but the fat lady has sung.

Aiken County taxpayers have become a little poorer.

Gage Creed
19372
Points
Gage Creed 09/10/13 - 08:48 pm
8
1
Mr Glover.... can I have a

Mr Glover.... can I have a pony?
Mr Glover.... can I have a pony?
Mr Glover.... can I have a pony?
Mr Glover.... can I have a pony?
Mr Glover.... can I have a pony?
Mr Glover.... can I have a pony?
Augusta has pony....
Augusta has pony....
Augusta has pony....
Augusta has pony....
Augusta has pony....

mosovich
858
Points
mosovich 09/10/13 - 10:01 pm
7
0
Pathetic..

The gov't of Aiken Cty obviously doesn't care about it's citizens..

Young Fred
20556
Points
Young Fred 09/11/13 - 01:40 am
2
6
I don't think one, no not

I don't think one, no not one, could call me in favor of government's vision. That being said, North Augusta has shown people that deliver.

I like their ideas, and I like their vision. I like what they've done so far.

It's one of the few times I have no problem with shelling out a few more dollars, because I think these peeps have the best interest of our town in mind.

So far, so good. The investment they've asked for has paid off. Granted, they may have done better, but they haven't done half bad.

Based purely on the past, and based purely on expectations of what gov can or may do, I'm willing to give NA a “go ahead”!

BUT we'll be watching you!

Riverman1
93233
Points
Riverman1 09/11/13 - 04:20 am
4
3
CSRA Changing Moment

It was obvious when this group bought the Greenjackets and started the stadium talk that it would happen. They would have never bought the team if they weren't sure they could swing for the fences with Project Jackson. If it all comes about as presented it will be a CSRA changing moment.

Dixieman
17214
Points
Dixieman 09/11/13 - 05:55 am
5
1
Civil War II

Can those of us living in Georgia declare war with the objective of conquering and annexing North Augusta?
Otherwise, let's start turning out the lights....

soapy_725
44049
Points
soapy_725 09/11/13 - 06:35 am
0
0
Taxation without representation, of taxpayers expressed desire
Unpublished

Taxation without representation, of taxpayers expressed desire

soapy_725
44049
Points
soapy_725 09/11/13 - 06:36 am
0
0
Ben Dover and the Money People win again. Ben Dover.
Unpublished

Ben Dover and the Money People win again. Ben Dover.

soapy_725
44049
Points
soapy_725 09/11/13 - 06:37 am
0
0
Will of the people = zero. Money people = mega millions.
Unpublished

Will of the people = zero. Money people = mega millions.

soapy_725
44049
Points
soapy_725 09/11/13 - 06:38 am
0
0
Money People Lottery odds are always 1 for 1. LOL LOL
Unpublished

Money People Lottery odds are always 1 for 1. LOL LOL

justthefacts
24891
Points
justthefacts 09/11/13 - 08:04 am
3
1
Dixieman

Are you old enough to remember when Buddy Carr, WBBQ, was around? He had an "old army general type character" that would bomb North Augusta on occasion for stealing Augusta's name. It was funny, you had to be there.

lsmith
105
Points
lsmith 09/11/13 - 09:32 am
0
0
The owner of the Green
Unpublished

The owner of the Green Jackets thanks you all very much for the wealth you're about to bestow on him and his partners. He'll now sell the team for a huge profit..

Bubbalicious
28
Points
Bubbalicious 09/11/13 - 10:34 am
4
3
Priorities

Aiken county schools are bursting at the seams and over capacity. Some schools have over 40 students per class. Aiken County hasn't built a new middle or high school since when? SC schools are ranked dead last in the nation. Yet we're building a baseball stadium, hotel and shopping with taxpayer help? No wonder SC is statistically ranked the dumbest state in America.

Aiken
21
Points
Aiken 09/11/13 - 11:52 am
5
0
North Augusta Aiken Project Jackson TIF File for an Injunction

Legal recourse calls for concerned citizens to rally here and immediately begin the process of filing for an Injunction against this proposed project expenditure.

Interesting that a proposed Referendum was Voted Down. This could give rise to a groundswell as the people have a right to decide- 6 individuals do not comprise a jury.

"Blighted" is a requirement let the courts decide and allow the public
Their day in court.

dichotomy
37344
Points
dichotomy 09/11/13 - 12:06 pm
7
0
Isn't it amazing how the

Isn't it amazing how the taxPAYERS have lost control of their government(s) at every level. Powerful people with money to spread around team up with pompous know-it-alls, crusaders, and a few crooks, and the people who pay the bills don't even get a vote.

I'm sure the people in Augusta would have fallen for the allure of a ball park and "mixed use" facility if they hadn't just paid to build Paul Simon and "associates" a private exhibition center for the them and the Marriott corporation, and a matching parking deck......only so we could be declared a "slum" so they could go in debt for some MORE money that we don't have to spend on another mismanaged project.

grinder48
2050
Points
grinder48 09/11/13 - 03:02 pm
0
0
What's the plan?
Unpublished

I've seen pretty pictures of Project Jackson itself but still don't understand how they plan to handle the traffic ingress and egress through the surrounding neighorhoods and the infrastructure required for such a massive project ... water, sewer, power etc required through the surrounding neighborhoods. The sewer seems especially strange since the project is on the river and the river is a low area so sewerage will need to go away from the river, which is up hill. Where can the plans for all that be seen?

nocnoc
49121
Points
nocnoc 09/11/13 - 06:44 pm
2
0
Aiken has taken the 1st to becoming just

like Augusta/Richmond Co.

Their politicians have tasted the idea of TAX Increases to support
boondoggles.

Next it will be Aiken-Countyman telling us how great Aiken and North Augusta is and growing.

willie Lee
423
Points
willie Lee 09/11/13 - 07:48 pm
0
0
Looking Closer!
Unpublished

I would like to request the FBI look at the bank accounts of these politicians and deal makers to see if anyone made a large deposit recently. No one in their right mind would agree with What Aiken County is doing as it comes to the tax payers money. Fred above likes it because it is "our town". Well Fred, no it is not our town. It might be yours but the vast majority of Aiken County citizens live elsewhere and if your town wants a ball park, then let them pay for it. The Aiken County Council should be ashamed of themselves!

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