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Business leaders join ballpark push, tax funding opponents continue petition drive

READ MORE: Business leaders join ballpark push, tax funding opponents continue petition drive
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Building a baseball stadium has been a hot topic of conversation in Wilmington. Now, some local business leaders are stepping up to bat to support the city's effort.

The Wilmington Ballpark Coalition says it is banding together for an idea members think is a home run.

"We feel like economic development is a great boost to the economy, number one. It's affordable entertainment, number two. And number three, we feel like it can be a multi-use facility, so it's going to be used for more than just baseball," WBC chair James Hundley Jr. said.

The variety of business leaders say they share a common vision with Wilmington City Council, and they want the city to know they're ready to pitch in to push the ballpark plan.

"We are here just to support they city's efforts and make sure that they understand there's someone else out there other than the 'just say no' crowd," Hundley said.

Hundley says the "just say no" crowd is the people in protesting the possibility of using tax money to build the stadium. Opposition organizer Ben McCoy says the group does not say no to every idea, just the ones that are not thought through.

"We fully support private investment," McCoy said. "Mandalay (Baseball Properties), the (Atlanta) Braves, anybody building a stadium in Wilmington, we would openly support that, but taxpayers don't have the money, and they clearly do not support paying for it."

McCoy says if the the WBC really wants a ballpark, its members should step up to the plate.

"If these are business owners that are stepping up and saying, 'Hey, we want this,' put your money where your mouth is," McCoy said.

Mccoy says the petition that is circulating opposing the ballpark has upwards of 2,000 signatures. The group now needs anyone with a petition to return it so they can count up and verify the signatures.

Members of the coalition include:
Jim Hundley, Jr., Chairman
Dr. James Hundley Sr., Vice-Chairman
Margaret Weller-Stargell, Vice-Chairman
Tom Babel – Ward and Smith
Dick Blouse – Global Perspectives, LLC
Dr. William Carmichael – Riverside Dental Arts
Ken Dull – McKinley Building Corporation
Chris Fernandez
Matt Henrie – MedTech Associates
Russell Johnson ¬– RJR Productions Inc.
Hal Kitchin – McGuire Woods LLP
Emily Longley – Longley Supply Co.
Capt. Howard Loving – U.S. Navy (Retired)
Connie Majure-Rhett – Wilmington Chamber of Commerce
Roy Morgan – Signs by Tomorrow
Dallas Romanowski – Cornerstone Advisory Partners
Jarrett Shearin – Senn Dunn Insurance
Terry Spencer
Mary Margaret Latham-Vann – Parkway Volvo
Bill Vasser – Screen Gems Studios
John Hinnant – Wilmington Downtown Inc
Jonathan Weiss – City Club at deRosset
Rob Ziglar – East Coast Contracting

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The Baseball File

It is good to see there are Business owners and professionals in support of the proposed baseball stadium and the benefits it could bring to downtown or where ever it may be located. If it is completed within the framework of the Atlanta Braves requirements, the sky is the limit for the development of class A office space, residential and other commercial development not only downtown but across the river as well. This will not be a snap your finger and it appears. It will take years if not decades. Will it be worth the investment? You bet it will.

I really don't think that

I really don't think that anyone "across the river" cares for any of Wilmington's spillover.

The Baseball File

Oh, so You must own the west side of the riverbank. another person jumping to conclusions that I am referring to Belville or Leland. There is still no proposal folks. No numbers. Nothing to base any decision on. Just a lot of howling at the moon.

Great point Peyton. Everyone

Great point Peyton.

Everyone is up in arms about something that has yet to happen. No firm numbers, no firm financing proposal. Be angry when there is something to be angry about, let the people we voted in do their jobs.

Hey (Saffo?) If you believe

Hey (Saffo?) If you believe the ball park isn't a done deal you are living in a fantasy world.

Move along.....Nothing to see here.

I'm sure it would be convenient for some if those opposed to using tax dollars for this project would keep quiet.

It's not a complicated message. Many do not want their tax dollars paying for this project. What will change when the firm numbers are in? Do you think anyone believes that 100% private funding is an option? If by some miracle it does come to fruition then everyone is happy. The ballpark is built and the taxpayers are not burdened.

you're a fool

No one in the public wanted the damn convention center but it was shoved right down our throats. And, this damn baseball field will be done the same way. Gonna take a lot of A1 Sauce to get this one down. And if you don't believe it's coming you are a *&$^(*) fool!!

wrong

I feel that Mr. Hundley has made a huge mistake.. He was quoted saying " Unfortunately in Wilmington, we have several groups who want to just say no to any possible city project."

He has to realize that the people of Wilmington can't afford any new taxes. So, if it means not getting a ballpark so be it. As you seen on TV we have people in the area that can't pay their normal bills.. IE water. This is not the right time for the city to be spending what it doesn't have..

If this group of businesses want to have a ballpark in Wilmington why don't they pay for it?

Jim Hundley, Jr., Chairman
Dr. James Hundley Sr., Vice-Chairman
Margaret Weller-Stargell, Vice-Chairman
Tom Babel – Ward and Smith
Dick Blouse – Global Perspectives, LLC
Dr. William Carmichael – Riverside Dental Arts
Ken Dull – McKinley Building Corporation
Chris Fernandez
Matt Henrie – MedTech Associates
Russell Johnson ¬– RJR Productions Inc.
Hal Kitchin – McGuire Woods LLP
Emily Longley – Longley Supply Co.
Capt. Howard Loving – U.S. Navy (Retired)
Connie Majure-Rhett – Wilmington Chamber of Commerce
Roy Morgan – Signs by Tomorrow
Dallas Romanowski – Cornerstone Advisory Partners
Jarrett Shearin – Senn Dunn Insurance
Terry Spencer
Mary Margaret Latham-Vann – Parkway Volvo
Bill Vasser – Screen Gems Studios
John Hinnant – Wilmington Downtown Inc
Jonathan Weiss – City Club at deRosset
Rob Ziglar – East Coast Contracting
How much is your company going to be paying ???

Go away coalition and Hundley

Mr. Hundley, we are seeing the true you today with the feds suing you for mismanagement of monies at Cooperative Bank. Now, here you are wanting to handle more money. I think maybe your time of "handling monies" might be coming to an end. Hey Coalition. . aren't you proud to have such great folks in your leadership? Cracks me up. What a bunch of arrogant, greedy, underhanded, self centered people. Go Away.

Not afford new taxes? NOONE

Not afford new taxes? NOONE has said taxes WILL be increased for this project, merely a statment saying it is a possibility, one of MANY possibilties.

As for what the city can or can not afford, are you privy to the inner workings of the city budget? Are you equipped with the proper information to make these assumptions, or just listening to the venom spewed by local conservative radio? Before you ask, yes I am a conservative, but I refuse to be corralled into the hatred that comes across the airwaves in this town.

Who is NOONE?

I mean, I know he was the lead singer for Herman's Hermits, but what does he have to do with Wilmington?

you use an alias??

I'm not involved in any airwaves or anyone who works with them. I do know that sewer and water pipes are failing, I do know the city streets are crumbling and I could go on and on. You sound so one sided I'm thinking you might be Saffo. . using an alias. Do you have the inside scoop on the city's finances? Where do you get your info? What makes you so damn sure you are the one who is right and we are all dumb***** who can't get from Market St. to College Road? Hmmmm??

If these folks want a minor

If these folks want a minor league baseball team/stadium here, let them finance it and reap the profits! I don't want it coming out of tax payer's pockets!

Business people for ballpark

If the ballpark is so good for Wilmington and the area and such a good investment I certainly hope all these business people will put their money where their support is and pay for it. They can reap the rewards and not cost the taxpayers. We can't take any or taxes. Our water bills keep going up, the streets are falling apart, the bridges are overloaded, etc. If the ballpark does all they say it will the bridges, streets and sewers will be even more overloaded. Most people won't have the extra money to pay for tickets and snacks for attending the ballpark. The ones who want it so much should pay for it.

Let's face it, most of you No's No's pay no city taxes!

So what are of you crying about, most of you No's No's pay no property taxes anyway. So move aside, (Get Out Of The Way) and let the folks that do not mind contributing for a better Wilmington, help make it happen!

arrogance gallor

You are an arrogant pile of stuff! I really do think this is Saffo. You have the same attitude as his. . . THIS IS WHAT I WANT AND YOU CAN GET OUT OF THE WAY!! You listening Wilmington?? We can get out of the way. . . how does that sit with you??

You Idiot

No one is going to get out of the way, you idiot! YOU can take yourself to Leland or Burgaw and sit and stew for all we care!!

Such a silly thing to say

Kind of silly to think that most of the "crying" people are not taxpayers. Seems a bit illogical.

Do you mean the same lazy voters...

...that couldn't muster up enough energy to get up out of their easy chair and vote in the city elections? Yeah...those...the 85% do-nothings. I don't get out of the way of APATHY and laziness and let those types mind anything of concern to me! So...face that Mr BigMouth!!!

I'll remember that

the next time I'm in the city limits (everyday for work), maybe I'll just bring my lunch from home, buy my gas, groceries, cloths, tires... outside the city limits. Sorry to be in your way!

No big deal

The city doesn't see hardly any of that sales tax money back anyway.

Pennies make dollars

The "hardly any" room occupancy tax sure adds up to a good chunk of change. I'm sure you wouldn't miss that either. Death by a thousand cuts is still death. People choose to live outside of the kingdom of Wilmington for many reasons. For one, The "services" aren't worth it. That extra tax bill is nothing more than a form of gentrification. The "Can't afford it, then move" attitude permeates this area.

I'm sure

I'm sure the room occupancy tax does add up to a good chunk of change, but the city doesn't see that either. The state allocated some for the construction and operation of the convention center, but that's it.

not a city resident

I am a county resident opposed to the stadium,because i know if this ball stadium is built the city will try to annex the whole county to fund it. Also i think i will start buying my gas and other goods in the county.

Ballpark

I heard the same arguements you people are making about the Winston Salem ballpark. It (The Dash ballpark) was a resounding success. It is making money for the city and has been a great investment in the community. Same goes for Greensboro (although their's was built with private money). A ballpark would be a great plus for Wilmington as it has for Winston Salem. Build it they will come!!! Joe Knight