Voters to advise on downtown Augusta stadium

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At the heart of four questions placed on the Richmond County Democratic ballot Tuesday is Mayor Deke Copenhaver's proposal to build a baseball stadium at the former Golf & Gardens property.

While the straw poll questions are not binding, city officials and involved parties say they're interested in the results.

The Richmond County Democratic Party drafted the questions for the ballot. Voters in the Republican primary will not have the ballot questions.

The first question asks whether a public referendum should be held on using public money to "enhance private investment" in the golf property.

Copenhaver's proposal involved public investment in a deal with developer Jacoby to build a multiuse facility at the site, primarily for use as an Augusta GreenJackets stadium.

The second question asks whether voters favor spending public money to build a new GreenJackets stadium.

A third question asks whether public money should be spent on a new performing arts center, and a fourth asks whether Augusta should return to once-weekly trash pickup.

The city has collected household trash twice a week for about a decade, but the commission will consider returning to once-weekly when it renews contracts with waste haulers this year.

The questions

1. Do you think that there should be a public referendum if public monies are used to enhance private investment in the Golf & Garden properties?

2. Do you favor spending public monies to build a new stadium replacing the Lake Olmstead baseball stadium?

3. Do you favor using public monies to build a new Performing Arts Center?

4. Do you favor one garbage collection instead of two?

Comments (11) Add comment
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lsmith
105
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lsmith 07/18/10 - 02:31 am
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I'd be interested in knowing
Unpublished

I'd be interested in knowing why the question on the stadium was not offered for inclusion by Republicans.

SlapShot2
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SlapShot2 07/18/10 - 04:35 am
0
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Thanks for the same exact

Thanks for the same exact story you ran over a month ago. I guess because it didnt recieve and comments the Chronicle decided to run it again. We all get it the paper and Billy dont want a new stadium.

veggie-d
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veggie-d 07/18/10 - 08:10 am
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how about trash

how about trash pickup/recycling program for businesses downtown? they have to carry their old books/plastic/etc. to the landfill on their own??...NO containers? NO recycling center/service?...deke should be cleaning out his office, packing his bags to go home...and taking his trash with him.

deMOJO
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deMOJO 07/18/10 - 08:25 am
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not only is this the worst

not only is this the worst possible place for a baseball stadium, it's also the worst possible time. it seems that the Augusta "leaders" will never get their heads out of the clouds.

Riverman1
90733
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Riverman1 07/18/10 - 08:48 am
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Deke, he's a nice guy™, and

Deke, he's a nice guy™, and company are going to get the baseball stadium built one way or another. Building the TEE proves that to me.

dichotomy
36291
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dichotomy 07/18/10 - 10:00 am
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Why does the question on

Why does the question on trash collection not address the entire issue? Does the price get cut in half if the collection gets cut in half. How about the "put out anything you want picked up" day that we get now. Is that still included along with a greatly reduced price? We know you commissioners, we know your incompetence. You will cut our service, cut out our "anything" day, and the price will either not go down or will only have a barely noticeable drop. This is exactly what I said would happen at the public meeting on Tobacco Rd. back before you shoved this crap down our throats. Twice the price for half the service under the management of our illustrious "kickback" commission. How much of a kickback to the county are you going to build into this contract? And how about the latest price increase? Fuel prices are down and the high unemploymet has labor prices down. Why does the contractor need an increase......or did all of that go into the county kickback?

corgimom
36809
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corgimom 07/18/10 - 10:04 am
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Augusta needs a new jail far

Augusta needs a new jail far more than it needs a new baseball stadium.

corgimom
36809
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corgimom 07/18/10 - 10:08 am
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Dichotomy, it seems like it

Dichotomy, it seems like it should be that way, but most of trash collection costs are fixed- there's very little variable costs involved. It doesn't cost all that much more to do it twice a week versus one- but they have to make cuts somewhere.

The amount of trash still remains the same. If the amount of trash could get cut in half, then it could be cut by 50%, but that's not the case. And restaurants, apartments, and businesses still need daily pickup, so very little will be saved.

dichotomy
36291
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dichotomy 07/18/10 - 11:29 am
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Well, the major costs of

Well, the major costs of trash collection is the trucks, fuel, and labor, not in the dump fee. Halfing the collection days should SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the trash fee. Maybe not completely halve it but pretty close. But, for the taxpayer, any savings would be totally lost if they also take away our "anything" day and make that a special request, extra cost thing. In other words, if they want to put a question on the ballot they should give us ALL of the information including some type of cost comparison. They want us to give them an answer but they are too lazy and incompetent to do their homework in order to provide us with enough information to allow us to make an intelligent, informed decision. Our commission is saying "Well if they want once a week we will think about it during the next contract negotiation but you might not save anything and heck it might even cost you more, but don't worry 'cause you're in good hands with the clowns from downtown". If I had been charged with taking this opinion poll I would have talked with the potential contractors and would have been able to tell the people that, for example: twice a week costs you $302 a year and once a week would cost you approximately $225 a year and an "anything" pickup would be $20 extra. In that case I would definitely vote to keep it the way it is. If once a week was $175 a year and I could still put out anything on that day, then yes I would go for once a week. But the question they have put on the ballot is impossible to answer intelligently because the people negotiating the contract have no motivation to get the best deal for the taxpayer since they get a county kickback on the trash fee and they can stick it on our property taxes so we have no choice as to whether we pay it or not. Hey commissioners.....please give the ignorant masses a few numbers to work with before you ask us to make a decision on how bad we want to be gouged by your overpriced mandatory trash collection. Don't just ask us "do you want your service reduced" and leave it to us to guess as to whether we will actually get a price reduction commensurate with the service reduction. Knowing the record of our illustrious commission, our contracting folks and our solid waste folks, I wouldn't trust them to save us a damned nickel by cutting our service in half. Not when it cuts into their percentage.

Little Lamb
48008
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Little Lamb 07/18/10 - 05:27 pm
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Remember, folks, that these

Remember, folks, that these questions were put on the ballot by the leadership of the Richmond County Democratic Party. The tallies on the questions will be gathered in as "information" by city commissioners and we can only pray that no such publicly-financed baseball field gets approved now or anytime soon.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 07/19/10 - 12:18 am
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well this is one instance

well this is one instance where I applaud the local Democratic party.

animate
0
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animate 07/24/10 - 09:50 am
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Let's face it, there's

Let's face it, there's nothing wrong with the present park, and with a fraction of the money we could build on to the stadium and even a parking deck.

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