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Dozens Turn Out to Discuss Proposed Baseball Stadium

11:41 PM, Jan 21, 2014   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Dozens of citizens showed up for the Columbia City Council's meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the proposed minor league baseball stadium.

The stadium would be built on the site of the old state mental health facility off Bull Street. Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and other proponents say it would revitalize that area. Previous Coverage: Public Forum Held on Stadium Proposal

After presenting a report on what the Multi-Use Sports and Entertainment Facility would bring to the city, residents spoke out both in favor of and against the stadium.

Those for the stadium believe it would bring in tourism dollars as well as other businesses and urged the council not to pass up the opportunity. However, those against the project say the money should go towards water, sewer and infrastructure upgrades.

Saying they're keeping the concerns of citizens in mind, City Council members voted to take the proposal a small step forward.

"We authorize our staff to go ahead and begin any sort of talks in determining what the proposed financing options would be as well as what any sort of stipulations would be for a proposed public-private partnership," said Councilman Brian Newman. "With any sort of public-private partnership, we want to make sure that we're being good stewards in making sure that we're properly spending public funds, so with that said we want to make sure we have a good, solid plan in place."

City Manager Teresa Wilson will present her office's findings during the next city council meeting on February 4th. Councilman Newman says he hopes members will vote on which financing option would be best during that meeting.

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