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Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or pgould@freelancestar.com. Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or rsidersky@freelancestar.com.

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Fredericksburg baseball project negotiations will continue

UPDATE: Council just unanimously agreed to continue negotiations with the baseball stadium partners.

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Council is now discussing the baseball proposal.

Kelly made a motion to continue negotiations and to get the bond counsel and financial advisor to review the partners’ financial documents.

The results of the negotiations would be brought forward at the next council meeting in two weeks.

 

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UPDATE: With the start of the regular council meeting, I am starting a new blog stream here, from the top.

This is the key point from the Work Session: Fredericksburg Councilman Matt Kelly opened the work session on the baseball project by saying he wants the partners planning the stadium project to meet with the mayor and city manager tomorrow to continue working on negotiations. It looks like that is where things are headed.

Check this site to get a full presentation on the project and the financial incentives currently being offered.

The regular council meeting has now begun. The Council Chambers are packed with people standing in the back.

Jack Cust, managing partner of Diamond Nation, is now speaking. He will show the video again that shows what Diamond Nation is about.

He will also show the public the PowerPoint again.

Cust announced the $18 million is now under negotiation.

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Resident Anne Little spoke against the proposal for the city to take on $18 million more debt for the project. She provided a packet that she said included a petition with 113 names of residents who oppose the current deal.

She asked everyone present who opposes the current deal to raise a hand. At least half of the people raised a hand.

She urged the counsel to not approve the current deal or anything that goes beyond the deal agreed to last September.

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Nine people spoke on the project during public comment time, which ended at 8:54 p.m. When it ended, most people left the Council Chambers. Six clearly opposed going forward with the project as presently proposed. Several encouraged additional negotiations.

Tom Byrnes, who is working with the partners, spoke in favor of the plan.

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INFORMATION BELOW HERE IS FROM THE WORK SESSION.

NOTE: Information is being added to the bottom of this blog through the meeting. Scroll to the bottom for the latest updates.

Fredericksburg Councilman Matt Kelly opened the work session on the baseball project by saying he wants the partners planning the stadium project to meet with the mayor and city manager tomorrow to continue working on negotiations.

Check this site to get a full presentation on the project and the financial incentives currently being offered.

The partners are presenting now and say they want to continue working toward a “win-win” for everyone.

Kelly will make a motion to that effect when the regular meeting takes place, he said.

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Diamond Nation is currently showing a video on their New Jersey operation, which is on 35 acres, according to Jack Cust, managing partner of Diamond Nation.

Jack Cust is speaking now. He said DN has about 500,000 athletes there per year. Cal Ripken is probably the closest to what we have, Cust said.

Cust now wants to present a PowerPoint to review the proposal.

About a dozen people are currently attending the work session including City Treasurer Brenda Wood, who is watching the deliberations before deciding whether to move forward with the sale of the U.S. National Slavery Museum land or delay it again to allow the partners time to finalize a deal to buy it. The site is 38 acres in Celebrate Virginia South overlooking the Rappahannock River and Interstate 95.

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George Mason University economist Stephen Fuller is now on the phone answering questions from Kelly about his economic impact report.

He said he gave a conservative estimate of attendance at the Hagerstown Suns games at a Fredericksburg stadium when he projected 4,300 people per game. He also said he foresees the team playing in Fredericksburg being one of the South Atlantic League’s top teams as far as attendance.

He also said he does not see Stafford County as a competitor for business generated by the stadium complex, except to some degree along U.S. 17 in southern Stafford.

He said “it’s impossible to say with certainty” what would happen but added that visitors “choose convenience over price.” The obvious implication is that visitors would be expected to shop at Central Park, which adjoins Celebrate Virginia South.

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Fuller responded to Withers by saying he projects that the estimated 707 jobs generated at build-out would be retail, hotels and food service, not necessarily minimum wage. He added that there could be small business owners management positions related to retail, hotels and food service.

“I worry more about finding people to do this work,” Fuller said. He noted there is a shortage of qualified workers to do that kind of work in both Northern Virginia and Spotsylvania County.

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At  7:07 p.m. – Fuller is off the phone.

Greenlaw said the closed session would take place at the end of the regular meeting, given the time.

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Greenlaw discussed the possible next steps.

“We have a very complex deal here,” she said. ”

Work session just adjourned. A two minute break is being taken.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/citybeat/2014/08/26/councilman-kelly-wants-negotiations-to-continue-on-baseball/