by Sam Hieb
News & Record reports High point has announced it will continue on with its tax-increment financing plan to fund the proposed $35 million downtown baseball stadium—without Guilford County’s help.
City leaders now have a “Plan B” for building a baseball stadium, the anchor of a $200 million economic redevelopment plan for downtown.
But they’re still holding out hope for “Plan A” — in which a reluctant Guilford County Board of Commissioners eventually agrees to help pay for it.
On Thursday, the High Point City Council voted 8-1 on the new plan, which looks a lot like the old one.
High Point still would borrow $30 million to $35 million to build the stadium.
But unlike “Plan A,” the new plan calls for High Point alone to repay the debt, without the county’s help. It’ll just take a decade or so longer to pay it off, city staffers said.
The council approved the plan by an 8-1 vote, with council member Cynthia Davis casting the lone ‘no’ vote:
Davis, an ardent critic of the stadium plan, voted no, saying local residents have neither seen the figures nor been asked whether they want the city to take on extra debt.
Her opposition has been a source of tension among the council.
At one point in the discussion, Davis interrupted Randy Hemann, assistant city manager, to ask why council members were being asked to vote on a plan they just received.
Mayor Bill Bencini asked her to hold her question, but Davis continued. Bencini called her out of order, then banged the gavel while she spoke, drowning out her question.
Next up– the Local Government Commission, which will hear the plan on Dec. 5.