Future Sales Tax Could Be Used To Move Rail Line For Mills Project - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Future Sales Tax Could Be Used To Move Rail Line For Mills Project

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Augusta, GA -

 To make Sibley and King Mills sellable to GRU city consultants say planning is needed,  and they  want the city to chip in four hundred thousand dollars or the roughly one point six that will be needed.

Mayor Copenhaver supports spending the money even though we don't know where those dollars would could from.

"We're looking at several different options, says Mayor Copenhaver.

But he did not want to go into any detail.

"I would prefer to speak with the commission and the administrator before I tell you that," the Mayor said.

"As far as just writing a check right now I need to know where it's coming from I'm not going to raise taxes so you're going to cut somewhere else or it's going to be a delicate game," says Commissioner Joe Jackson.

But there's another potential cost here that's going to hit like a freight train.

There'd a rail line running between the two mills and city consultants say that's a problem, with the best bet to move the line.

"I think that really pushes us to looking at King Mill before Sibley because King Mill could potentially be developed before moving that  rail line in general when we look at other cities rail lines take at least a couple of years to move," says City Consultant Matt Kwatinetz the Executive Director of the of Augusta Regional Collaboration Project.

It will not only take time to move the rail line it will take money, likely city money, at this point no one knows how much.

"We've got a SPLOST coming up next year we could look at that for funding for moving the rail line but if there's a will there's a way this has been done in other cities I believe we could do it here," says Mayor Copenhaver.

"If we put that on the sales tax we need to put the equivalent with drainage on Gordon Highway and Young Forest we have people out t there flooding their back yards a what are the needs the voters are going to want and pass," says Jackson.

Commissioner Jackson points out the commission is already planning on spending millions from the next phase of the sales tax though no official list has been approved commissioners are looking at using

26 million dollars plus for renovations at  the Municipal Building, and another 14 million to finish up the storm water retention pond in Hyde Park to ease flooding, of course those dollars are only available if voters say yes at the polls.

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