Commission to take over arena debate

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AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – The Coliseum Authority again puts its stamp of approval on Regency Mall as the site of a new James Brown Arena, approving a proposal from mall owners with little discussion.

“I think it’s the one thing that’s disappointing, we haven’t heard why did they support what they supported yesterday. I was told they didn’t want to hear the numbers they already had a preconceived notion to support this deal,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.

The final vote: four to two, supporters liking the mall location without worrying about the details of the mall owners proposals.

What’s the cost of these proposals from the mall owners do you know?

“Ah no the lawyer is working that out now,” said Coliseum Authority member Booker T. Roberson.

Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle crunched the numbers of the first two proposals from mall owners, saying what was on the table would costs taxpayers tens of millions of dollars on top of construction costs he’s says he’ll be looking into the new proposal as well.

“I don’t think we need to proceed without knowing the financial responsibility of the city and the responsibility and obligation of the developer,” said Commissioner Guilfoyle.

But Guilfoyle’s first calculations were trashed by Mayor Davis.

“I think that’s garbage I mean I saw the document. I’m disappointed a sitting commissioners would take time to draft that,” said Mayor Davis.

“When you look at reality before you do investment you have to have numbers if the mayor had numbers he never presented it it’s up to him to say I’m not going to stoop low like that,” said Commissioner Guilfoyle.

Pouring over the mall owner’s proposal could take weeks but Commissioners may not be willing to put in the time,

Frantom says city leaders could vote on the proposal as early as next week’s commission meeting.

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