The North Augusta City Council decided Monday night to remove its request for a decision from the county school board on its proposed tax incremental financing proposal, according to a school board press release.
The North Augusta council met Monday in a special called executive session. The issue was supposed to go before the Aiken County School Board tonight, at which the school board would make its final decision on whether to pass or deny the TIF.
The request by North Augusta was to extend the TIF to help finance "Project Jackson," a proposed development that would include a baseball stadium, four-star hotel, conference center and retail shops, among other things.
The initial proposal, relying on a mixture of public- and private-sector financing, was revealed to the public in mid-December. The proposal was met with many vocal opponents for and against the TIF request, from residents who live near the proposed development to school board and council members.
The North Augusta City Council also has postponed a public hearing scheduled for March 18, during which it was to hear public comments regarding the proposed adoption of amendments that would, in part, provide Tax Increment Financing for Project Jackson, according to City Administrator Todd Glover.
The idea was narrowly shot down by Aiken County Council members last week following nearly one hour of debate.
The decision to postpone these events was made after giving consideration to Aiken County Council's decision, said North Augusta City Administrator Todd Glover.
The undertaking is a $122 million project. North Augusta's commitment was for $43 million, to include the infrastructure, parking deck, conference center and stadium. In order to generate the needed revenue stream for its investment, North Augusta was proposing future property tax revenue over and above the frozen assessed value of property in the tax increment financing district.
Glover said the City will meet with developers this week to consider alternate structures and next steps.
“We continue to be excited about the proposed project, and we are hopeful that we can work with the developers to put together a plan that the County and the School District will not only approve, but actually embrace, as a positive step forward for the City and the entire county," Glover said.
North Augusta can propose an alternative plan in the next 45 days to the school board in relation to the project.