Public invited to speak on Project Jackson on Sept. 10 at Aiken Tech
Aiken County Council will hold a special meeting in September for a public hearing on Project Jackson.
The meeting will take place on Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. at the auditorium at Aiken Technical College.
The meeting will give residents an opportunity to speak out and share concerns or enthusiasm about the major economic development plan proposed by the City of North Augusta.
Project Jackson proposes major economic development along North Augusta’s waterfront to include a baseball stadium, convention center and more.
“We don’t like to move meetings from our normal meeting place, but, given the size of the crowd the other night and the anticipated crowd for the public hearing, we thought it best to find a location with more seating and parking,” Aiken County Administrator Clay Killian wrote in an email.
Last Tuesday, the Aiken County Council chamber was packed to standing room only 15 minutes before the meeting started.
Two presentations were given – one promoting and one opposing the plan.
Council approved the first reading of an ordinance to participate in the North Augusta Tax Incremental Financing plan to fund Project Jackson under its consent agenda at that meeting.
In order to generate the needed revenue for its investment, North Augusta would collect on future property tax revenue over and above the frozen assessed value of property in the Tax Increment Financing district.
Approval of Aiken County’s participation in the financing plan is the next step to move the proposal forward.
The Aiken County Board of Education has agreed to a limited role in funding Project Jackson through the North Augusta Tax Incremental Financing plan.
Council turned down the proposal when it was first presented in the spring. One issue that was a deciding factor for some Council members was the fact that the land values were frozen in 1996 when the existing Tax Increment Financing district was created. Council wanted the values to reflect 2012 levels.
North Augusta City Administrator Todd Glover told Council on Tuesday that the numbers were adjusted to 2012 land values.
According to Killian, there will also be an item on the agenda for Council to conduct a second of three readings, if it chooses to do so.
If the ordinance moves forward, the third reading will be held during the regular meeting on Sept. 17.
Amy Banton is the County reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the publication since May 2010. She is a native of Rustburg, Va. and a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.