Aiken Co. Council delays vote on financing Project Jackson - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Aiken Co. Council delays vote on financing Project Jackson

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The Aiken County Council was expected to give their final vote about developing the riverfront Tuesday night.

Following legal advice, the council turned a resolution involving the financing of Project Jackson into an ordinance because they believe the issue needs more discussion.

During a three hour meeting, North Augusta leaders tried to sell the project and people opposed to it fought them every step of the way.

The Council is facing strong opinions and a major decision as they consider participating in the financing of Project Jackson for 30 years.

If they adopt the ordinance, city leaders will pave the way for a minor league baseball stadium and a high-end hotel.

The council's first reading was at Tuesday's meeting. There will be two more readings and a public hearing before they give their final vote.

Council members made it clear that they will base their decision on how it will affect taxpayers.

The council has been promised the county will get 51% of the sales tax from the project and that taxes won't go up.

North Augusta city administrator Todd Glover said, "We think it makes sense for economic development for the school board, the city and the county to partner together."

But people, such as Steve Donohue, who is opposed to the development, doesn't think the financing for the project is following the letter of the law because the TIF area isn't blighted.

Donohue said if the council ends up voting "yes" than they're a guilty party.

"To say, ‘I don't want to know too much, don't tell me anything. Go ahead and do it, I don't want to worry about it; you're aiding and abetting," he said.

If the council ultimately agrees to support the financing of the development, the city will still have to secure contracts and go through the design and bidding process.  

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