Augusta city leaders spending more than two hours behind closed doors on Monday to discuss the depot project however that discussion was not long enough for city leaders to find the facts surrounding the project.
Commissioners Ben Hasan took part in the closed door meeting with depot developers saying one thing he heard was the plan to reduce the scope of the first phase of the project.
“On the first phase about a 49 million dollar project to a 42 million dollar project about six million dollars they will move onto phase two which is not guaranteed,” said Commissioner Ben Hasan, an outspoken critic of the depot project.
But supporters of the project who were at the meeting disagree.
“That’s not true, the developer was in the room, he said he was going to build a phase two, so for the city to talk about it’s gone phase one phase two that’s kind of irrelevant they’ve guaranteed two phases,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Sean Frantom.
Hasan has other concerns saying the developers haven’t submitted a site plan or the financial pro-forma to commissioners.
“One of the developers team said he didn’t realize we wanted a pro-forma we said to him we’ve been asking for the last six months for a pro-forma and definitely there was not a site plan,” said Commissioner Hasan.
Mayor Pro-Tem Sean Frantom. says the site plan has been provided however financial statements have not because the city hasn’t agreed to sign a non disclosure agreement.
“The pro-forma if the city is willing to sign a non disclosure agreement they they would get the pro-forma,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Frantom.
Hasan also has an issue with the project video that shows depot project breaching the levee Hasan saying however Margaret Woodard of the Downtown Development Authority said in the meeting the levee would not be breached.
“The response to her was you have mislead the whole community they said they did that because they wanted the community to have a buy in I find that to be very disingenuous,” said Commissioner Hasan.
Georgia power did it they did it for the aspect of the marina and the development as well on the levee for future development show off the marina I don’t look at it like that I know my colleague spun it that way,” said Frantom.
The depot project moving forward still hinges on the city meeting the requirement for Unisys to provide 500 parking spaces at the site, a plan is being worked on but as Commissioner Ben Hasan pointed out to parking plan for Unisys has been approved by the commission, in Augusta George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel 6.