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Wednesday night the Winston-Salem City Council approved another $12.7 million in tax payer dollars to pay for the privately held baseball stadium and surrounding land. After months of no construction at the site due to “negotiations” between Billy Prim and “Flip” Filipowski it was becoming obvious that the problems were not just “negotiations”. As previously posted here the city is already on the hook for an initial $12 million so this brings the total amount taxpayers are dishing out for a baseball stadium to 24.7 MILLION DOLLARS! The interest alone that the city council has put on the local tax payers is $800,000 a year.

Billy Prim appeared at the council meeting and clearly stated, “I’m here because I don’t have another alternative” where as just a few months back he was touting his ability to secure funding.

So welcome to the Mayor Joines version of the Obama Bailout. Instead of a bank or a car company the city decided to bailout a baseball team all because they did not require those involved in the project to show they were fully funded before handing over Millions. What’s worse is I guess the City of Winston-Salem considers it’s citizens as total idiots as they cleverly try to hide that tax payer money is being used. From the FAQ on the Stadium Bailout:

Q. Where did the $12 million in city funds in the original agreement come from? Did it include taxpayer funds?

A. One million came from previously approved Downtown Development General Obligation Bonds, $5.5 million came from the sale of Ernie Shore Field and $5.5 million was borrowed and is being financed over 20 years. This borrowing is being covered by the new tax increment generated by the stadium. Of this total amount, the $1 million in General Obligation Bonds is the only portion that is being taxpayer funded.

Does the Mayor really consider the public that stupid to think the above “$1 million in General Obligation Bonds is the only portion that is being taxpayer funded” even starts to hold water? If the city sold Ernie Shore for $5.5 million that’s $5.5 million of Winston-Salem citizens money. It’s not Prim’s, it’s not the City Council’s, it is owned by the citizens of Winston-Salem. The city has also taken out $5.5 million and is planning on taking out another $12 million all conditioned on the baseball stadium paying back the loans over 25 years and if at any time they don’t or they try to move the team they default on the loan so guess who would be on the hook for the stadium loan, that’s right taxpayers. Lastly I don’t know what the financial status of the City of Winston-Salem is but it’s obvious having an outstanding $17.5 million in loans will hinder the ability of the City to borrow other monies if the need arose. Lastly let’s not forget as I mentioned back in May the increase in sales tax the city requested so it’s clear tax payer money is being used otherwise give us back the $5.5 million.



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