Government

More News | | | Editor

North Augusta council gives first OK to Project Jackson

  • Follow Metro

NORTH AUGUSTA — The North Augusta City Council gave Pro­ject Jackson first-reading approval by a 6-1 vote Monday night.

Back | Next
North Augusta residents attend a public hearing on the revised Tax Increment Financing district that would be used to help fund Project Jackson.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
North Augusta residents attend a public hearing on the revised Tax Increment Financing district that would be used to help fund Project Jackson.

Two more readings of the ordinance amending an existing Tax Increment Financing district to fund the $144 million public-private riverfront development are required.

Councilman James Adams was the lone opposing vote, saying he disapproves of government involvement in private investment.

The vote followed a nearly two-hour public hearing with residents voicing both support and opposition for the project, which features an Au­gusta GreenJackets stadium, a hotel and conference center, a YMCA, housing, and retail and office space near the Hammond’s Ferry neighborhood.

The TIF district has received support from the Ai­ken County school board and county council. If the financing model is approved, design and development work could take as long as a year to complete, officials said.

Atlanta-based development group Greenstone Pro­per­ties revealed its plans in De­cember. The total private investment is $101 million.

Hammond’s Ferry resident George Batten said North Augusta needs to remain a bedroom community and not become a tourist destination.

“That is the vision I was sold. There was no mention of a stadium, a parking lot or a conference center,” he said.

Project opponent Stephen Don­ohue said the original TIF district adopted in 1996 was intended to eliminate blight and that the Ham­mond’s Ferry area does not meet that designation anymore.

Mayor Lark Jones said the area was a blighted industrial and manufacturing area when the TIF district was adopted, but that the development goal has not been reached.

“We are amending the cur­rent order so we can finish what we started,” he said.

Rod Berg, of North Augus­ta, objected to using public funding to build a ballpark.

“I like the concept of Pro­ject Jackson. I wish the developers great success,” he said. “What I do not like is you are funding our stadium and parking garage with a TIF.”

Hammond’s Ferry business owner Jeremy Mace was the one of the project’s most outright supporters.

He said the development will attract better clients for his digital advertising firm NewFire Media, expand his staff and create a friendly environment to raise his family.

The second and third readings of the ordinance will be Nov. 4 and Nov. 18.

Comments (9) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1
82413
Points
Riverman1 10/22/13 - 04:55 am
4
1
Done Deal

As I said all along, it's a done deal. Maybe downtown Augusta can get some of the business fallout from North Augusta. Who would have thought it?

etlinks
20318
Points
etlinks 10/22/13 - 07:07 am
4
0
Aiken Co voting rights?

I agree this is a done deal but still a slap in the face to Aiken Co citizens for the way this was approved. Good luck NA you will need it.

agustinian
689
Points
agustinian 10/22/13 - 07:07 am
3
2
The Fat Lady Hasn't Sung

Until you hear the Fat Lady singing -- it ain't over.

curly123053
4570
Points
curly123053 10/22/13 - 07:49 am
1
4
Getting It Done!

If North Augusta does this right this could end up being a money maker for a lot of people. I am reminded of the controversy surrounding the building of the statdium for the Greenville Drive of the SAL league on the westside of Greenville a few years ago. Despite all the cry that project has turned into a big success. Project Jackson can turn out the same way if leaders on both sides of the river get creative. If Augusta gets proactive they can reap benefits of the stadium being on the river, no matter what side of the river it is located.

etlinks
20318
Points
etlinks 10/22/13 - 07:57 am
3
0
The real story.

North Augusta Mayor Lark Jones opened the meeting by stating that this was the fourth public hearing on the proposal. The first two occurred at the Aiken County School Board and the third at Aiken County Council. One matter that he stressed, multiple times throughout the night, was the fact that this was not a vote on Project Jackson.

Well it should be.

Little Lamb
45321
Points
Little Lamb 10/22/13 - 08:41 am
5
0
Referendum

The only chance for Aiken County citizens to stop this is to convince three more North Augusta council members to let the citizens have a referendum on the subject. Though these TIF things are legal to bypass the voters, it is not forbidden for the voters to have their say.

Demand a referendum!

seenitB4
85708
Points
seenitB4 10/22/13 - 08:52 am
2
3
Pedestrian bridge in the future maybe

Now if Augusta has any sense at all they will find a way to enjoy & use this park-area-ballpark--etc....it doesn't have to be seen as a loss for Augusta.

member
67
Points
member 10/22/13 - 09:03 am
4
0
most outright supporter New Fire Media is bogus

That is laughable as "the most outright supporter". I would guess so since New Fire Media is tied to Turner Simkins one of the developers of Hammonds Ferry. I'm sure they want this going forward as their development has not exactly been on fire itself...

Riverman1
82413
Points
Riverman1 10/22/13 - 07:08 pm
0
0
I doubt North Augusta would want

I doubt North Augusta would want a pedestrian bridge with Augusta for various reasons.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs