Going into Tuesday night's Aiken County Council meeting, we knew that there would be some discussion about Project Jackson from supporters and opponents, but we didn't know if there was going to be a vote on the project. There ended up being a vote, but that doesn't mean Project Jackson is happening just yet.
North Augusta officials have spent the last several weeks trying to come up with a financing plan that Aiken County Council members could agree with.
"We think that it makes economic sense, economic development sense, for the county, the school board and the city to partner together," North Augusta City Administrator Todd Glover says.
The county council approved the first reading of the financing plan, which means there will have to be two more readings and a public hearing before Project Jackson can happen. That is something that Steve Donohue is trying to prevent. He spoke to council members about his problems with the plan.
"I have never heard one person walk out of that room or that briefing and say, thank God we figured out what to do with that blight. Not one," Donohue says.
While Donohue argues that the North Augusta riverfront property isn't blighted, city officials say other wise. They say the land wouldn't be built on of the city didn't help.
"The foundations of several buildings are still down there. There are bricks from the brick mason facility deep down into the soil. Which is going to require a lot of work to go through. You can't build on it because of all the bricks in the soil. It makes the foundation unstable," Glover says.
Some county council members say the project will be good for Aiken County, but others aren't so sure it will affect all parts of the county.
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