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Thursday, May 23, 2013
Those who want to show their support for Project Jackson now can do so with lawn signs, bumper stickers, pins and more.
Nowhere is that more apparent than the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, which is serving as a hub of sorts for people to pick up items. The Chamber also has taken a supportive stance on the issue.
“The North Augusta Chamber is the voice for businesses,” said Terra Carroll, president of the Chamber. “With all of the buzz in the community about Project Jackson, the Chamber was compelled to get feedback from our membership on their views of this development. The Chamber sent out a survey in February, and the results showed that 84.8 percent of our members supported extending the TIF in support of Project Jackson. With those results, our Board of Directors voted to take a position of support.
“Like any other campaign, a grassroots effort is important to test the pulse of a community. Because of the importance of this project to the economic growth of North Augusta, the Chamber welcomed the opportunity to assist with the distribution of materials to businesses and individuals who wanted to show their support.”
The Chamber isn’t alone in this matter, either. Signs are also available at Lake Olmstead Stadium, home of the Augusta GreenJackets.
There are also a number of signs on display throughout town in the yards of individuals who support the project.
The potential for growth is something that Carroll points to as being a big reason why so many businesses, and the Chamber, are for the project.
“As a Chamber professional, I understand that there are ups and downs to any form of economic development,” she said. “I believe the opportunities are endless for North Augusta, as well as the entire Central Savannah River Area. The addition of retail and restaurants that will flank the stadium project, will also spur growth down into North Augusta and surrounding areas. This type of economic development will entice young professionals to move to North Augusta to start and raise their families.”
With a number of issues facing the project, two of the biggest stem from traffic and safety.
“Although there are concerns regarding safety, traffic and noise, North Augusta has one of the most respected public safety systems in the area,” Carroll said. “Project Jackson and the remnants from its development will not hinder our public safety system; it will create opportunities for growth in the way of new jobs. Our City Council members have been elected, repeatedly, to act in our best interest. I trust that they will continue to do what is right for our community.”
Carroll also responds to the many questions with one of her own.
“Why should North Augusta lose this project because of fear of the unknown? We should work together as a community to ensure its success and show other areas how to do it the right way,” she said.
For more information on the campaign, visit www.ilikeprojectjackson.com/.
• Scott Rodgers is a reporter at the North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013 after previously working at the Aiken Standard. He is a graduate of Alvernia University and currently attends Drexel University.