Proposed GreenJackets stadium continues sparking debate

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Sunday, June 16, 2013

Project Jackson--Greenjackets stadium proposal for North Augusta.

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW) -- Sign after sign after sign across North Augusta shows support for Project Jackson, especially in the community of Hammond's Ferry.

"I am a strong advocate for a vibrant community," said Dianne L'Heureux.

L'Heureux has lived in Hammond's Ferry for three years. She owns one of those signs and supports the $150 million proposed site on the Riverfront.

Plans include a conference center, restaurants, office space and much more.

"All the kinds of facilities that would attract folks to come to North Augusta to spend some time, spend some money," she said.

All on property that borders the Hammond's Ferry community.

One of the most important additions is a baseball stadium to be used by the Augusta GreenJackets.

"What I know about sports could fill a thimble. I'm not really a sports enthusiast," L'Heureux explained. "But having a sports facility close by is exciting to me is just as someone who's involved in the community."

Not everyone is for Project Jackson, however. Many have expressed not wanting this project to go forward. Their main concern is how close the stadium would be to their homes.

Another concern is funding. The city is suggesting a TIF, which would freeze the property value of the homes in that district. The increase would then pay for the project.

This option needs approval from the county council and the school board. Many worry it'd take away money from the school board.

But L'Heureux says it could be the best option.

"I trust our city government, but I think this project could actually benefit the school system."

Both the board and the county are expected to vote on this sometime in the near future.

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