Government

More News | | | Editor

Augusta National offers loan to speed Berckmans reroute

Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 8:06 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 12:50 AM
  • Follow Golf

Augusta National Golf Club wants the city’s realignment and widening of Berckmans Road to happen sooner than the state-approved schedule for Transportation Investment Act projects and is willing to lend the city money in advance of special purpose sales tax collections to hasten it along.

According to a memorandum of understanding scheduled for consideration Tuesday by the Augusta Commission, the city and club officials “agree that it is in their mutual best interest to advance this project one year under the present TIA scheduling,” and Augusta National “is willing to discuss pre-funding of Phase 1 of project costs” interest-free.

Originally scheduled for the final phase of the 10-year transportation special purpose local option sales tax, the realignment of Berckmans around several club-owned properties used for parking to connect with Alexander Drive was moved up by city officials this year to the second phase. Other projects, such as Gordon Highway and 13th Street improvements, were moved from the first phase to the final one.

“It was a good thing for us,” Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson said of starting the project sooner using money borrowed from the club. “The way that we’ll be paying it back won’t be at once; it will be increments.”

Johnson said that under the proposal, the club will loan the city all the money – according to project estimates, about $16.7 million – to get started in late 2014, but will allow Augusta to repay the club over four years as collections come in.

Commissioner Donnie Smith said the proposal would help the city start the project sooner and not have to wait for the transportation sales tax collections to cover the project.

Approved by voters last year in three regions of the state, the tax is an additional 1 percent sales tax to fund transportation projects. The tax has generated about $48 million for the 13-county Central Savannah River Area region, but collections are below baseline projections by about 18 percent for the year.

Club officials met with commissioners and Augusta Engineering officials behind closed doors last week to discuss the proposal.

The memorandum of understanding shows the city closing and abandoning all sections of its road, about 13 acres, within the perimeter of the reconfigured Berckmans and trading them to the club for six acres on which the new road will be built. Once property values are assessed, the club will also pay the city the difference between the properties’ values, according to city Traffic Engineer Steve Cassell.

The plan shows the road arcing west near the club’s southwestern fence and running near the acquired areas’ western edge to a new terminus at the current intersection of Stanley Drive and Washington Road, about three-tenths of a mile from Berckmans’ current terminus at National Hills shopping center.

Because the plan leaves Augusta National with property outside the reconfigured Berckmans, it also calls for three “tunnel-type walkways” to allow pedestrians and others to cross the rerouted Berckmans safely.

Comments (18) 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.
Just My Opinion
5886
Points
Just My Opinion 12/16/13 - 09:32 pm
10
0
Well, dang. If it's already a

Well, dang. If it's already a done deal to reconfigure the area and they're just waiting on the money, not much the city can say when the National is going to pretty much pay for it all, interest-free.
Kinda like having an old, rotten tree on your property that's dropping limbs over your neighbors yard. You BOTH want it cut down, but you don't have the money to do it. Your neighbor wants it done bad enough so he just says "Here! I'll pay for it and you just pay me back in a couple of years!".
Uh...okay.
Am I missing something here?

GACopprhed
2136
Points
GACopprhed 12/17/13 - 05:17 am
4
18
This is Augusta, not one big
Unpublished

This is Augusta, not one big Augusta National golf course. Leave Berckmans Rd alone. Move the National.

Riverman1
87155
Points
Riverman1 12/17/13 - 05:53 am
16
4
The ANC brings in BILLIONS

The ANC is such as asset to the CSRA. Realize they've brought in over a billion dollars (that's not an exaggeration) in spending over the past decade alone. Let's cooperate with them all we can.

skeptical
84
Points
skeptical 12/17/13 - 07:03 am
8
6
ANGC and Augusta/Richmond County

"The Club" has done most everything it can to limit the local population's access to the practice rounds and tournament proper now supports the Berckman's re-route to further isolate itself from the common folks.

Given that the Berckman re-route is a done deal, let's move on to the next discussion: What will be the best route for Washington Rd when it's re-routed? Oh wait, that's right - they've moved their front door to the old Berckman's side of the club, so Washington Rd becomes irrelevant. Windsor and the rest of the businesses on Washington Rd had best make plans to move if they want any access to the tournament goers down the road.

Riverman1
87155
Points
Riverman1 12/17/13 - 08:20 am
13
5
Do All Understand The Magnitude of The Masters?

It flat out amazes me that some question the National and want to limit its expansion. We give Costco and Cabela's retail stores huge tax breaks to move here, yet we want to limit our billion dollar, tax paying, asset? With arguably the world's largest sporting event that we have right here in our small town we have to be out of our minds to hinder their improvements. Do folks even realize the millions they directly contribute to charities in the area? Who cares if you can't get tickets?

justputtin
1448
Points
justputtin 12/17/13 - 08:18 am
8
6
A fan of Augusta national

I have nothing negative to say about Augusta National. Love everything about it. I simply think if they want the road moved or re-routed then let them pay for it, not the city. Am I wrong?

Riverman1
87155
Points
Riverman1 12/17/13 - 08:25 am
5
5
Think about how the county

Think about how the county will build access lanes and roads for retail stores that don't contribute a thousandth of what the National does. Let's do all we can to help them.

Realize the realignment and widening of Berckmans Road is something the county was going to do in any case.

seenitB4
90981
Points
seenitB4 12/17/13 - 08:56 am
4
6
Biggest money maker in the CSRA

Some will never understand that..never.

Some look at the National as a once a year happening...not so. This is like winning the Mega over --over & over through the years...but if you can't understand that..just move along & get out of the way...please..

Unbelievable
85
Points
Unbelievable 12/17/13 - 09:16 am
4
1
Really?

The National has a lottery system set up for practice round and tournament badges. Anyone and everyone is able to throw their names, and the names of all their relatives, in the hat. I hope they keep expanding. I have some property over that way that they are more than welcome to. :)

JRC2024
9341
Points
JRC2024 12/17/13 - 09:30 am
5
0
What difference does it make

What difference does it make if the road turns thru property that they already own and are willing to loan the city the money interest free. The new road will give patrons a direct shot from I20 and riverwatch to the parking areas. Sounds like a good deal to me and bravo the the Augusta National for expanding and for their generosity with all the giving they do. You have to be nuts to not see the good they bring to Augusta.

Little Lamb
47042
Points
Little Lamb 12/17/13 - 09:32 am
2
1
Route

Yes, justputtin, you are wrong. The plan will be an improvement not only for tournament goers the first week in April, but it will also be an improvement for Augusta citizens 52 weeks of the year. It's a city street; city taxpayers need to pay for it. But since it's to be paid for with TSPLOST tax dollars, there will be people paying for it out in the hinterlands — Jefferson, Columbia, Screven, Lincoln, etc.

dichotomy
34496
Points
dichotomy 12/17/13 - 09:34 am
3
3
Okay, I get it. The National

Okay, I get it. The National brings in a lot of money. BUT.....if they want it done now, let them pay for it. Put the Gordon Hwy and 13th back on top of the funding list for expenditure from the TSPLOST funds, let the National pay for Berckmans, and IF....IF....we must pay them back, move the "paying back" to the end of the list AFTER Gordon Hwy, 13th, and the rest of the projects. And yes, the county was going to do it anyway....but only because of the power and influence of the National. Other areas of the county, i.e. the South Side, should not suffer delays in needed projects just because of the National's WANTS. It ain't like not moving Berckmans immediately would hurt the National or detract from the Masters. They want it done now, let them pay for it and pay them back LAST.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 12/17/13 - 09:45 am
2
3
It is a fine golf course.

It is a fine golf course. Let's help 'm out yes.

nocnoc
45125
Points
nocnoc 12/17/13 - 09:53 am
7
5
Just me here

But shouldn't The Augusta National be footing the whole Bill to Reroute the street for their sole benefit?

grinder48
2019
Points
grinder48 12/17/13 - 10:10 am
0
0
Drawing
Unpublished

Where can we see a drawing of the proposed new configuration?

bdouglas
5398
Points
bdouglas 12/17/13 - 11:26 am
4
0
I'm indifferent to the whole

I'm indifferent to the whole thing. Whatever benefits the whole, I'm fine with. But I find it odd that a government is borrowing the money from a private entity like this. Just not something I've ever really heard of.

Dixieman
15999
Points
Dixieman 12/17/13 - 11:09 am
6
1
Something in the water...

...strange comments today. If my uncle offered me this deal to put a road through my property, I would jump at it. Any of you critics ever get a job from a poor man?
Get those asphalt trucks warmed up and on the road!!

Frank I
1192
Points
Frank I 12/17/13 - 11:30 am
3
0
property values

make sure the property is assessed at the same valuation the ANGC saw fit to pay people to move off of the lands they purchased.. one of them recently sold for millions..

bdouglas
5398
Points
bdouglas 12/17/13 - 03:44 pm
3
0
@Frank

I was thinking about that, too. The ANGC agreed to pay the county the difference between what they gave up and the assessed value of the land they're getting....when the county is the one that will do the assessment of what kind of money they'll be getting back. 13 acres of the prime property versus 6 acres of stuff that's not as prime. Seems like that could about cover the cost of the entire project.

Frank I
1192
Points
Frank I 12/18/13 - 11:48 am
0
0
value

the ANGC, or one of its long arms, bought a property on Heath, near it's intersection of Berckmans Rd for $2.3 Million...

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs