Tuesday night, Aiken County School Board members gave the green light for their portion of Project Jackson's financing.
The panel passed a measure supporting funding for the massive project. The vote was 7-2.
One of the biggest controversies has been the proposed baseball stadium, and School Board members say none of their financing would go towards that, but it would instead go towards public projects.
"We've said, all along, this is an A to Z project. I don't know if we're at J or G or H or I, but we haven't gotten halfway through the alphabet yet," says North Augusta Mayor Lark Jones.
The total project is $150 million, but School Board members say they won't be losing a penny out of their very tight budget
"We're not on the hook for anything. We're not giving any money to a developer, we're not giving any money to the City of North Augusta," says School Board member Richard Hazen.
In fact, Hazen says, rather than taking money, the project would be making money. Currently, the School Board only makes $3,500 a year on the land that would be in the TIF district. If the project moves forward, the Board would make around $240,000 a year for the next 15 years, then could make upwards of $1 million per year.
"In the scheme of things, good chunk of change, teachers, teacher development...programs we didn't have a budget to use," Hazen says.
Those involved believe the School Board will approve the project...but if it doesn't...
Some say this is the biggest thing to happen to North Augusta...since North Augusta.
"We call it Project Jackson after James Jackson and he had the vision to create North Augusta, and this is probably the biggest one time project since he did it," says Jones.
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