Dozens of Aiken County citizens took to the podium to tell school board members how they feel about Project Jackson. The meeting lasted more than two hours as school board members wanted to give everyone a chance to speak.
One oponent of the new TIF plan says, “as you review the North Augusta proposal, remember the people who are collecting these education box tops. Ask yourselves how these people would feel about diverting school district funds for a private municipal project.”
That seemed to be what most of the opponents in attendance talked about. They felt the school board would be giving money away to a baseball stadium instead of building a school.
But dozens of supporters showed up as well.
“I support Project Jackson because I think there isn't enough in the county that brings young people back to town. Many of my friends have one to larger vibrant cities,” says Catie Rabun of Aiken, SC.
At least two speakers talked about how confusing a TIF plan is, stating that most of the speakers on Tuesday night didn't even know what they are talking about.
School board members didn't speak about the TIF plan, instead they just listened. But at the end, North Augusta City Officials once again tried to calm the fears many of the opponents keep bringing up.
“Not one penny from the school district is going into this project. We're not diverting one cent of the school districts money. We are taking the proceeds from this development and reinvesting it into the development. It pays for itself,” says North Augusta City Administrator Todd Glover.
The Aiken County School Board did not vote on the TIF plan during Tuesday night's meeting.