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Wilmington council considers small biz help along with ballpark

READ MORE: Wilmington council considers small biz help along with ballpark
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Spending money to make money. The City of Wilmington is looking for ways to spur economic development.

Some council members believe a baseball stadium may do that. At the same time, the city also wants to help small business owners. Is there money for both?

Tuesday night, City Council will vote on whether to enter negotiations to discuss the ins and outs of building a baseball stadium in Wilmington.

On our website, many viewers have spoken out against the idea. When told about the negative feedback and asked why fight for something many may not want, Mayor Bill Saffo says he's not the one pushing for a stadium.

"One of the things that I want to be clear to the citizens is that this was brought to our attention," Saffo said. "This was brought to us as an opportunity. We're going to take a look at a lot of different ways to finance this. This is one of the things we've been struggling with, but I think we owe it to the community to at least look at the opportunity from an economic development standpoint."

How it will be financed is a sticking point.

Freshman Councilman Neil Anderson ran a campaign against raising property taxes, which is one of the possible options to pay for the stadium.

"I still can't get my arms around how we're gonna fund it, and I'm not sure I'm gonna be able to support that in the end," Anderson said.

Baseball is not the only economic engine on the table. At Monday's agenda briefing, City Manager Sterling Cheatam discussed a small business incentive proposal showing Wilmington does not do as much as other cities to help small business. The proposal includes a possible partnership with UNCW's Entrepreneurship Center to help business owners succeed.

"You just throw them out there and hope they can swim with the sharks, but what I think we're talking about here is doing more comprehensive things to help small business owners, entrepreneurs at different parts along the way when they have different needs," Entrepreneurship Center Director Jonathan Rowe said.

Another idea is to fund a small business pilot success grant. But is there enough money to create a new program and build a ballpark?

"These are the things we have to weigh and determine, plus, the other fact of the matter is all the other things on our plate we have to take care of, infrastructure improvement, police and fire, all the other things it takes to run a city and to run a county," Saffo said.

The small business proposal could also include a business incubator.

The city hopes to have a small business incentive adopted by the end of the year.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Best line ever

From the story: "...Wilmington does not do as much as other cities to help small business."

No, the city wants to regulate how much they put in their windows, because that is what is really important. Good job guys, micromanage it until it dies.

Really

Is that the city of Wilmingtons new way of scamming people.. spend money to make money just like the convention center right ???

Why did the Port City Rosters leave the area... Not enough people going to the games ??? So what has changed since then, money has become tighter so less people going to the games..

Come on Council you all know it's not the right time...

THIS INFURIATES ME TO NO END

WE DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT NEED TO SPEND MONEY ON THIS UNTIL THE ENTIRE INFRASTRUCTURE OF WILMINGTON IS REPAIRED, STREETS ARE FREE OF POT HOLES, ON AND ON AND ON I COULD GO. THESE DA** POLITICIANS SPEND, SPEND, SPEND WITH NO REGARD TO MATTERS THAT NEED IMMEDIATE ATTENTION AND I MEAN RIGHT NOW. THIS MAKES ME SO DA** MAD I WANT TO GO TO THEIR MEETING AND TELL THEM OFF BUT I WOULD WIND UP IN JAIL. CORRUPTION CORRUPTION CORRUPTION. AND THE IDIOTS OF WILMINGTON PUT THESE A**HOLES RIGHT BACK IN OFFICE. TO HE** WITH ALL OF THEM!!

I understand

I understand why you're angry. I get it. But it's more important for the city council to understand you're angry.

The problem is that everyone feels like you do, so no one goes to the meetings to tell city council face to face that it's wrong and why. If no one ever shows opposition, they will just keep on doing what they're doing. Take a friend with you to the meeting to elbow you when you start getting out of control, and then back off when he does. You're a grown man. You can control your own emotions and feelings if you really want to. Take others to the meeting who feel the same way you do, and let all of them speak on the issue. If you really feel you can't control yourself at the meeting, then at the very least, pick up a phone and call the Mayor's office to voice your concerns. Just remember, if you lose your temper, you lose the argument. Make yourself heard. It's the only way to bring about change.

Got your point

I got your point Guest Reality. Ok. Let me simmer on this. I really got furious when I read the article. I know these idiots don't run their personal finances the way they run the city's. I do need to calm down. I am intelligent and rational but when I lose my temper it's pretty rough. Would anyone be interested in getting together as a group and attending one of these meetings?

TOO LATE

DO ANY OF YOU REALIZE JUST HOW FAR THE TALKS ABOUT BASEBALL HAVE ALREADY GONE???? PEOPLE REPRESENTING THE TEAM ARE HERE TODAY TO MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT AND BE AT THE BOARD MEETING TONIGHT TO TALK AND EVIDENTLY FOR A VOTE TO CONTINUE TALKS AND PLANNING FOR THE FIELD. I HAD NO IDEA THEY WERE THIS FAR ALONG IN THEIR PLANNING. THEY'VE ALREADY MADE UP THEIR MINDS AND JOHN Q PUBLIC IS IN FOR PURE H*** WITH TAX INCREASES. DID ANY OF YOU GET A KISS IN THIS SCREW!!!

I agree with your comments

I agree with your comments GuestReality...completely!
How about City Hall holding a vote on this "at City Hall" by months end, and put it to the citizens to post a "Yes" or "No" vote and have an outside agency tally up the votes...in other words...no one from our local government have anything to do with the results but witness them.
Yelling at politicians at meetings here in this town, usually turns a deaf ear by council, as you mentioned about losing ones temper at these meetings.
Heck...take until the end of March to hold this vote...give the public plenty of time to make their minds up.
Next idea would be...IMPEACH these money hungry guru's. It seems once our politicians want "new toys"...they can't wait for Xmas and see if Santa can produce them now...or yesterday!
Now people will realize what Occupy Wall Street and its following is all about. Yes...it applies to politicians too because they are usually behind these types of public raping.