Remember patience with Project Jackson

  • Posted: 1/31/2013 10:54 AM
    6/1/2013 6:08 PM

This past week, Project Jackson took a step forward. It is one of a number of steps that are required for the project to go from being an idea on a drawing board to becoming a reality.

Many residents from The River Club and Hammond's Ferry area attended a special called meeting by the North Augusta City Council last week to voice their displeasure for the project, which is still in its infancy. Some of the residents' claims and concerns are quite warranted, and it's great to see so many members of the community act proactively regarding matters in our city and showing up to voice their opinions. Each and every one of those opinions is vital in moving North Augusta even further into a place where we love to live, work and play.

However, patience is a virtue.There are still too many unknowns about Project Jackson to jump to a conclusion. There are many things that our city leaders don't yet fully know. Nothing is set in stone, and Project Jackson right now is a baby still gasping for its first breath.Let's look at what we know for sure.

The recent council vote went 5-1 in favor of amending the tax-incentive financing district. The proposed investments include a $60 million resort-quality hotel, a city-funded conference center for $4 million and a 900-space parking garage costing about $10.8 million. Also proposed is a $28 million stadium that will serve as the future home of the Augusta GreenJackets, 75 townhomes costing $15 million and 40,000 square feet of office space for $10.5 million.

There is one key word there, however, that needs to be stressed: proposed.Change is never met without some hesitancy. The proactive nature of those who live in The River Club and surrounding areas should be commended because they care about their community and want it to continue to be a place that they are happy to live.At the same time, however, we must be careful not to jump to conclusions.

Putting the shoe on the other foot, these concerns from residents need to weigh heavily on the shoulders of city leaders - not just today, not just next year - but until Project Jackson is successfully up and running or simply a memory of a riverfront idea that never made it to fruition. With great power comes great responsibility.

In the end, if all arguments are taken into consideration and residents have their input respected and built into Project Jackson, we can truly look forward to an amazing addition that could easily make North Augusta a city we are even more proud to be a part of.