MIDDLEBURG, Fla. - Huge revenue generator or money pit waiting to happen?
The Clay County Development Authority voted yesterday to look harder at one company's proposal to build a baseball mega-complex on some empty land in Orange Park, but not everyone is on board with the idea.
"I would love to see this go away, just end," says taxpayer Joe Riley.
Riley says he filed a complaint with FDLE alleging secret meetings on this park were being held. FDLE says they looked into it but wouldn't comment on any state investigation.
An economic development study shows the complex would net the county $90 million over 10 years but we checked and two other facilities owned by Big League Dreams, who submitted the proposal, aren't bringing in what they promised. So, will taxpayers be insured a return on their investment?
"We are to further explore what [Big League Dreams] proposal is," says Kerrie Stewart, who's one of the consultants reviewing the proposal.
Stewart said Wednesday they'd be looking further into the propsal's economic viability.
Leslie Dougher says she grew up in an area that had a similar county-owned sports complex and she says it's still turning a profit 25 years later.
"Where else can you take your taxpayer dollars and actually have the ability to make money on it?" she asked.
On Facebook, Eric Nation says "As a little league coach here in Clay County, I think the county should invest some of the money in the parks we already have to make them safer for the people watching the games. Also, these fields would rarely be used by our children, they're more for the travel ball teams all over the US."
Deborah writes "This project is a WASTE of taxpayer money...the track record of Big League Dreams is dismal...starting with huge cost overruns at most projects and then revenue isn't nearly what was projected. It is going to be a huge financial risk."
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