clear
Thursday February 11th, 2016 10:08AM

Cobb commissioners approve plan for Braves stadium

By The Associated Press
MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) Cobb County commissioners took a big step toward building a new $672 million stadium for the Atlanta Braves Tuesday night.

The commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the entry into a memorandum of understanding with the baseball team at their meeting.

The deal calls for hundreds of millions of dollars in public funds to help pay for the stadium and entertainment complex. The 30-year agreement calls for a mix of reallocating existing property tax revenue and implementing new taxes on business and tourism in the area.

Commissioners have been holding town hall meetings to gather feedback on the proposal. A group called Cobb Citizens for Governmental Transparency had called on the commission to postpone its vote for 60 days to give residents a chance to learn more.

Tuesday night's vote marked a major step toward the construction of the new Major League Baseball stadium and entertainment complex.

``This will establish the framework for both parties going forward,'' commission spokesman Robert Quigley said earlier Tuesday of the memorandum of understanding.

The vote came amid calls by a diverse coalition of citizen groups for more time. Leaders of the Atlanta Tea Party, Common Cause of Georgia and the Sierra Club, among others, had asked for a 60-day delay, saying voters in the suburban county haven't had enough time to consider details of the estimated $672 million project that would take the team out of downtown for the first time since it moved from Milwaukee in 1966.

Commissioner Lisa Cupid was the lone dissenting vote. Cupid said she supports the Braves moving to Cobb County, but thinks the process moved too quickly and that she still has some lingering concerns.

``I cannot in good conscience vote for the MOU, but I do support the Braves being in Cobb County,'' she said during the meeting Tuesday night.

Cobb officials promise a new, publicly owned stadium will open for the 2017 season at the intersection of Interstates 75 and 285, northwest of downtown. The team's current lease at Turner Field, which is jointly owned by Fulton County and the city of Atlanta, runs through the 2016 season.

The memorandum of understanding between the county, the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum Exhibit Hall Authority and the Braves that was voted on by the commission calls for $300 million in upfront taxpayer support for the stadium. The payment would come from existing property taxes that now pay off debt for park projects and from lodging taxes, a rental car tax and levies on business in a special commercial district around the stadium site.

The Braves' initial contribution to the project would be $280 million. The remaining $92 million would come from debt that the county assigns to the team, bringing the Braves' share to $372 million, or 55 percent of the total.

The Braves have promised to cover construction cost overruns. But the team also reserves the right to reduce the total cost of the project by $50 million, absorbing all the savings without reducing the public contribution.

The total $672 million construction estimate does not include maintenance and capital improvements at the stadium, which the team and the county would share over the 30-year agreement. Neither party has released detailed numbers for those costs.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 2 years ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 2 years ago )
Professional Sports
Missing Ga. bank director arrested in Brunswick
A bank director accused of losing millions of investors' dollars before vanishing last year was arrested Tuesday during a traffic stop in a city in south Georgia.
7:00PM ( 2 years ago )
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 2 years ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Business News
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 2 years ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Victim critical following apartment fire
A 41-year-old woman was in critical but stable condition Tuesday after being rescued from an apartment fire in Forsyth County late Monday afternoon.
3:16PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
Weekly applications for US unemployment benefits fall to 269,000, a positive sign for hiring
WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week in a sign of a stable job market despite the slowing global economy hitting stocks and commodities.THE NUMBERS: Weekly app...
8:39AM ( 1 hour ago )
Temperatures to plunge as arctic air moves into Georgia over the weekend
Forecasters say they expect some of the coldest temperatures of the winter season across north Georgia when arctic air moves into the region over the weekend, dropping temperatures to around 15 degrees in some parts of the mountains.
By Associated Press
7:58AM ( 2 hours ago )
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders get back in the debate ring Thursday with an increasingly bitter family score to settle
WASHINGTON (AP) — Grudge match.Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders get back in the debate ring Thursday night with an increasingly bitter family score to settle. The...
6:49AM ( 3 hours ago )
Republican presidential contenders descend on South Carolina
Hoping for survival in the South, a muddled field of Republican presidential contenders descended Wednesday on South Carolina, no closer to clarity about who can stand between Donald Trump and their party's nomination.
By The Associated Press
9:14PM ( 12 hours ago )
New details about the possible effects of the Zika virus on the fetal brain are emerging
WASHINGTON (AP) — New details about the possible effects of the Zika virus on the fetal brain emerged Wednesday as U.S. health officials say mosquito eradication here and abroad is key to protect preg...
6:22PM ( 15 hours ago )