Letter: Resident expresses concerns with Project Jackson

  • Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2013 12:55 p.m.

This is in response to North Augusta Mayor Lark Jones’ claim that those who oppose Project Jackson are not residents of North Augusta or The River Club.

If I own a home near the riverfront site for this project, I would oppose it, as would most residents in this city if it were proposed for the neighborhood. I understand The River Club’s concerns.

I’m not a resident there, but I am a North Augusta resident. I oppose building a stadium for a professional baseball team with taxpayer money.

The mayor said that the GreenJackets would only bring in enough private investment to cover public improvements. He indicated that the public investment would be $43 million.

It seems a foregone conclusion that the GreenJackets would leave Augusta. If it’s that easy, would a better offer down the line prompt them to leave North Augusta – maybe even before we pay off the millions we will spend in construction of the stadium, convention center and parking garage?

Recently, the City of Augusta voted not to build a new stadium for the Jackets on the waterfront downtown. Apparently, even Augusta saw no benefit in the move.

We are told that this $43 million investment in the stadium deal would entice some unnamed retail shops, unnamed restaurants, office complex, hotel and luxury apartments.

Remember, if homeowners don’t like the idea of this project in their neighborhood, are luxury apartments a good fit?

We’re betting this money on a minor-league baseball team that will move across the river to play ball for the summer. A stadium is suitable for only certain events and basically seasonal employment.

I’m a North Augusta naysayer. I don’t think this project, centered around a huge outlay of taxpayer money to build a stadium for a professional team, meets my standards for taxpayer funding.

I haven’t even touched on my environmental concerns, or my concerns for financing our schools and other needs as our medium-sized City throws money at a stadium. Do all of you out there feel that you understand the information available and the impact that this will have?

L.C. Weil

North Augusta

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