Even though the financing plan for Project Jackson is a few weeks away from being finalized, North Augusta city leaders say it could be a year before construction begins on the $150 million dollar project.
"If the city moves forward and adopts the TIF, then there will be an extended period of negotiation with developers, sub contractors and sub developers," North Augusta Mayor Lark Jones says.
Still, dozens of people showed up on Monday night to tell city leaders what they think about the project that would move the GreenJackets to North Augusta.
"This project will help me continue to attract better clients, keep and grow my stuff with employees who are actually smarter than I am, and provide a wonderful environment to to raise my family," North Augusta resident Jeremy Mace says.
While supporters agree that Project Jackson would be a benefit for North Augusta, opponents had plenty of questions about the city's financing plan for the project. They argue that tax increment financing is being used for all the wrong reasons.
"It's not a minor league baseball subsidy bill. It's not, let's educate our children so we can walk them to the baseball park from my house bill," North Augusta Resident Steve Donohue says.
"The supreme court of California has upheld a ban on TIFs because it's a backdoor way of councils taxing the people," North Augusta Resident Rod Berg says.
While many are concerned about the numbers, some North Augusta residents are more concerned about what the project will bring to the area. One resident asked officials what kind of shops and restaurants would be built near Project Jackson. Officials say they don't have concrete plans yet, but they have an idea.
"I've used the example that we need more restaurants in North Augusta where you don't carry your own tray," Jones says.
The North Augusta City Council approved the first reading of the financing plan. There will have to be two more readings before Project Jackson can move forward.
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