Mayor calls mall costs calculations garbage

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AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – Back in August, the Coliseum Authority approved Regency Mall as the site of a new arena, and for its meeting this week the mayor wants the authority to keep going.

“There’s an interest to have them send something to us and my statement would simply be, there, do your job,” said Mayor Hardie Davis.

But last week the Commission agreed that if the Coliseum Authority can’t come up with an acceptable agreement with mall owners by the end of the month the authority should select a new site.

Commissioners say the two proposals they’ve seen so far haven’t been close to acceptable.

“Based on what we saw the other day, based on Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle’s numbers, I never liked the deal for various reasons, but most surely I hate the deal right about now,” said Commissioner Ben Hasan.

Commissioner Guilfoyle crunched the numbers on the costs of the mall owners 2 proposals for long term lease, rehabilitation of the parking lot lighting and school and city tax abatements, his calculation said the proposal for ten years of tax breaks would cost 42 million dollars over the ten years of the deal, and almost 75 million for the 25 year proposal.

“In compiling the numbers, it was a bad deal. The first deal was, but the second deal was even worse,” said Guilfoyle.

“Well I think this is garbage, I mean I saw the document, I’m disappointed that a sitting commissioner would take time to even draft that,” said Mayor Davis.

According to Coliseum Authority members, lawyers for the mall owners are aware of Guilfoyle’s calculations and the city Thursday deadline, so members are expecting another 11th hour proposal from the mall owners before the Authorities meeting Tuesday afternoon.

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