Warren Bolton is correct to question the entire $86.1 million that Columbia taxpayers will be giving the developer of Bull Street, including funding for a baseball stadium.
I hope that the baseball park and Bull Street development are the success that the supporters assume they it will be. We’ll know soon enough. But I don’t know of any city that has paid for all of the water, sewer, parking garages and other infrastructure on any development.
In his May 19 letter to the editor (“Council has right vision for city”), John Livoti is critical of Mr. Bolton for questioning council’s funding of the baseball park, comparing it to people suggesting Gov. Carroll Campbell gave BMW too many incentives. He now says look at BMW’s success.
But to compare BMW to a minor league baseball team is hardly apples to apples. Columbia already has had minor league baseball, and how did that work out? The last team left Columbia years ago. Can anyone name one failed BMW plant? I think not.
The taxpayers are being asked to pay $199 million — with interest on the debt — for the Bull Street project, including baseball. I sure hope Mr. Bolton’s and my concern turn out to be ill-placed and that this will work out well for Columbia taxpayers.