Coliseum Authority reaches agreement with Regency Mall Owners; City Leaders have last vote

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - The Augusta Coliseum Authority has reached an agreement with the Regency Mall Owners to move the James Brown Arena to the site.

It passed 4-2 by the Augusta Coliseum Authority and tonight all that's left to see Regency Mall turn into the James Brown Arena is a vote by Richmond County Commissioners.

Board member John Kelley says this goes against the recommendation of the architects they've hired on what's the best place to put the JBA.

"None of us are experts. None of us here or on the authority or in the public office are experts in the coliseum construction building and development," says Kelley.

Before the Vote, 4 Augusta Commissioners were allowed to sit in on the closed door meeting to hear the dialogue. "They wanted us to be in there. They unanimously wanted us to stay when it was challenged by the media. And at the end of the day I think the citizens would be served well as a result of us being in the room," says Commissioner Ben Hassan.

He said and the other 3 Commissioners only listened and weren't part of any discussions. Within the next 24 hours, all Commissioners will be given the official paperwork. Then it will be up to them to decide if this is the best deal for the City.

"My best decisions are made when I'm apart of the discussion to get all of my stomach issues out of the way and I didn't have the opportunity to do that today nor did I want to do that opportunity," says Commissioner Hassan.

In the deal it says the mall owners will gift 10 acres of the property to the city. The Owners in return won't be charged property taxes for 10 years. 
What is still unknown is exactly what the deal will cost taxpayers.

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