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Aiken County Council approves role in TIF

Posted: September 24, 2013 - 6:57pm

The Aiken County Council voted Sept. 17 in favor of approving third and final reading of the agreement between the county and the city of North Augusta for a modified Tax Increment Financing district that would be used to help fund Project Jackson, a development that would bring a baseball stadium and more to North Augusta’s riverfront.

Before voting, the council recessed to receive legal counsel in an executive session that lasted only a few minutes.

Councilman Scott Singer successfully motioned to slightly amend the measure to provide more money to the county if revenue exceeds projections.

Councilman Phil Napier again unsuccessfully attempted to table the ordinance so it could go to a referendum.

In the end, the council voted 6-3 to approve the agreement as amended.

“I see this as progress for Aiken County (and) North Augusta. I see it as beneficial to people’s quality of life in our area,” Councilman Chuck Smith said.

“We got to grow or we’ll perish if we don’t … I think this project is worthy of moving forward.”

The development includes a stadium for the Augusta GreenJackets; a 200-room, resort-style hotel and conference center; numerous restaurants; office and retail space; and apartments and townhouses on the North Augusta riverfront.

GreenJackets president and owner Jeff Eiseman was present for the vote and said he was excited about the outcome.

“We’ve been working toward this for a long time, and we’ve never been closer, but it is a tremendous project,” he said.

Now, the North Augusta City Council must consider the modified tax district proposal and hold three readings and a public hearing, City Administrator Todd Glover said.

The modified TIF could go before the city council as early as late October.

Staff Writer David Lee contributed to this article.

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