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Tuesday, Aug 19th

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New GreenJackets ballpark plan moving forward

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Augusta GreenJackets

A proposed new ballpark for the Augusta GreenJackets (Low Class A; Sally League) received initial approval by the North Augusta City Council, but two more public votes are on the horizon.

The Council approved the Project Jackson development plan, which includes TIF money for a parking ramp and the ballpark. The total $144-million project (which includes $101 million in private investment) will also include housing, retail, hotel and conference center.

The vote came after two hours of public input -- the fourth public hearing on the project, if you count discussions by other public bodies. Those for the ballpark saw it as an economic-development development benefiting the city; those against the ballpark were concerned about public spending and increased traffic in the area. (Same as it ever was.) From the Augusta Chronicle:

Two more readings of the ordinance amending an existing Tax Increment Financing district to fund the $144 million public-private riverfront development are required...

The vote followed a nearly two-hour public hearing with residents voicing both support and opposition for the project, which features an Au­gusta GreenJackets stadium, a hotel and conference center, a YMCA, housing, and retail and office space near the Hammond’s Ferry neighborhood.

The TIF district has received support from the Ai­ken County school board and county council. If the financing model is approved, design and development work could take as long as a year to complete, officials said.

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