There are some questions about the proposed baseball stadium for the Augusta GreenJackets. A North Augusta resident says the project has conflicts of interest because some of the owners of the minor league team are a part of the development group that would work on Project Jackson.
The President of the Riverclub Homeowners Association gave a presentation to Aiken County School Board members on Tuesday night. One of the questions that came out of that presentation is whether or not the construction of the stadium would happen without competitive bids.
Riverclub HOA President Steve Donohue says, "I mean, they want taxpayer money. Let's all step up the plate, to coin a phrase. Let's lay all the cards on the table. Let's quit playing hide the ball here. Who is Agon Group?"
Donohue wants to know who the new owners of the Augusta GreenJackets are. Last month, the Class-A team was sold to Agon Sports & Entertainment. Agon is led by Jeff Eiseman, Chris Schoen and other investors with local and regional ties. But the names of the other investors have not been released.
The development group that is working with North Augusta on Project Jackson is called Greenstone Properties. Donohue says that is a conflict of interest because Schoen is a principal for Greenstone.
Donohue says, "and that is troubling. The guy that owns, or the team or the group that owns, the baseball team is also going to drive the building of the stadium?"
We went to North Augusta City Administrator Todd Glover to ask him about a potential conflict of interest.
"Greenstone is a developer, they are not a construction company. And so we would do a public bid or an RFP for the construction of the facilities," says Glover.
Glover says that although Greenstone would be working on the private part of Project Jackson, the company cannot do work on the new GreenJackets stadium. Greenstone has done work on baseball stadiums in the past.
"We've made it clear to them. If these are publicly owned buildings, then they will be publicly procured," says Glover.
The construction of the baseball stadium is estimated at 25 million dollars.
"Who came up with the 25 million dollars? I don't know. Just being Joe Six Pack on the street, I'm guessing they have been talking a lot to the GreenJackets owner and the guy who builds stadiums, and they say yeah, it's going to take 25 million dollars to bring the team to North Augusta," says Donohue.
Either way, city officials say it's too early to talk about construction. Before Project Jackson can move forward, the Aiken County Council and the Aiken County School Board need to approve the financing plan.
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