City Council delays vote on conference center, hotel next to the Ballpark

Image result for baseball financial drain

Earlier this week the Jackson Sun reported that the Jackson City Council voted to delay the inevitable, a vote on a proposed amendment to the 2011 agreement between the city of Jackson and the owners of the Diamond Generals. The deal that actually cost the city 1.2 to 1.5 million dollars annually would also provide a $15 million dollar caveat. The city agreed to create a TIF funding district to generate money to pay for a $15 million conference center that would have been built by the city and owned by the Jackson Generals. This was a bad vote in 2011 and it doesn’t make it any better today with the new proposal. A better deal would be to sale the stadium and the land desired by the Jackson Generals for a $1.00. This would delete the city’s responsibility in maintenance and grounds and capital improvements, cease promotions and charities, and insurance funded by the city. This would at the very least relieve us from the financial drain the Farmer stadium has caused us over the last 25 years. Some would say we would then be giving away an asset, a jewel, so to speak. We don’t believe that to be true. The asset would still remain… the difference is someone else would be paying for it…. those that attend the games. We would hope that it would be the ownership of the team that would step up and take leadership here instead of continually draining the taxpayers.

The Jackson City Council, Tuesday morning, voted unanimously to delay voting on a proposal for a hotel with a conference center next to the Ballpark at Jackson.

“I’m glad we delayed voting on this,” Councilwoman Vicki Foote (District 1) said. “I don’t think we understand the full impact the conference center and deal proposed by the Jackson Generals will have on the city.”

When the Jackson Generals renewed their lease agreement with the city in 2011 the city agreed to create a TIF funding district to generate money to pay for a $15 million conference center that would have been built by the city and owned by the Jackson Generals.

Over the last eight years that TIF district has only generated a little over $1 million, according to City Recorder Alan Laffoon, not nearly enough money to build the conference center.

The TIF district’s lack of funding led the Generals to ask for an amendment to their current agreement with the city.

Generals CEO David Freeman said that under a new agreement with the city the team would give all the funds created by the TIF district back to the city and the Generals would sign a new seven-lease extension to remain in Jackson.

The team would then bring in its own developers to build a new $30 million, 18,000-square-foot hotel with a conference center.

The city would not have to provide any funding for the development, but under the agreement the city would own the land that the conference center is built on. They would forgo all sales and hotel occupancy taxes generated from the conference center for a period of time that has yet to be determined.

The city would own the land, which would make the development property tax exempt.

We can suggest to the council to hire an attorney who could write a proposal suggesting such a proposition while dropping the previous agreements.

%d bloggers like this: