YORK COUNTY, SC — The Town of Rock Hill said it supports the resumption of construction of the $225 million Panthers training facility in York County, under a new resolution.
City council members approved the resolution on Monday night.
“The city continues to support the project and specifically recognizes that restarting construction and development of the project will benefit residents of the city, county and statewide of South Carolina,” the resolution reads.
Rock Hill also said he supported York County’s March 21 resolution, which was a new funding plan to, among other things, “allow infrastructure funding” for the facility.
The old deal required Rock Hill to borrow $225 million, York County Councilman Bump Roddey said. Under the new terms, Tepper Sports and Entertainment would pay the cost of the infrastructure up front and be reimbursed by York County through property taxes over the next 30 years.
York County leaders passed the 4-on-3 resolution.
Tepper Sports and Entertainment halted construction more than three weeks ago, saying the City of Rock Hill had failed to secure funds to pay for public infrastructure.
York County Council last week proposed a new revenue plan to save the project, which would require the Panthers organization to pay for public infrastructure.
Dozens of residents have signed a petition asking the city and county to work together to revive the project.
The man who started the petition said he also wanted leaders to be more transparent about the process.
“We feel left out and as citizens we are the last people to be left out,” said Ryan Sanderson, owner of the Knowledge Perk cafe.
The Panthers project would help small businesses in the area, he said.
“This is a huge deal for the whole county,” Sanderson said. “And as a small business owner, they’re people who are going to buy me a cup of coffee. The Carolina Panthers (Charlotte FC), they’re potential wholesale buyers from me.
Sanderson sent a letter with more than 50 signatures to city and county leaders asking them to work together to revive the project.
He believes citizens have been left in the dark about the latest updates on the project.
“I can’t tell you the number of texts and phone calls,” Sanderson said. “I have (some) saying, ‘Hey, I don’t see the Carolina Panthers on the agenda. What’s going on? What do we do?’ And then the cameras (in the meetings) go out. They go into executive session, and then this morning a letter comes out saying they’re ready to start negotiating with the county.
The Town of Rock Hill would not grant any interviews on Tuesday.
Channel 9 contacted Tepper Sports and Entertainment for comment but received no response late Tuesday afternoon.
In a statement Tuesday, York County leaders thanked Rock Hill for their support.
“A week ago, York County Council passed a resolution to restart construction of the Carolina Panthers project in Rock Hill. This resolution proposed to restructure the part of the agreement involving the infrastructure of the team’s headquarters and training facilities.
“The York County Government would like to express its gratitude to Rock Hill City Council for their unanimous support of the resolution at their meeting last night. York County is eager to see this historic project move forward and resume construction on the site.
“We will continue to work diligently with our partners in the city and the Carolina Panthers to make this development a success.”
(WATCH BELOW: York County leaders’ resolution backs Panthers draft, but does it benefit taxpayers?)
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