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INVESTMENT GROUP LOOKING TO SECURE DASH

by Whitney Kenerly

INVESTMENT GROUP LOOKING TO SECURE DASH

An investment group that includes the Chicago White Sox franchise is negotiating a new ownership deal for the Winston- Salem Dash. The deal would include a $7 million investment that would be used in part to pay down current debt on team’s BB&T Ballpark.

As part of the deal the city and the Dash would agree to a new 25-year lease on the city-owned stadium. The new deal is needed to replace a short-term $15 million construction loan that the team secured during the national financial crisis, when lending terms where much more restrictive. The city would finance the remaining $13 million owed on the stadium. In addition to the $18 million in loans the city has already floated the team, the Dash would pay back about $1.8 million a year, netting the city an extra $4 million in revenue. No taxpayer funds will be needed to subsidize the ballpark or the debt payments, according to a press release from the city.

“Our primary goal is to strengthen the city’s position and control with respect to its financial interest in the ballpark,” City Manager Lee Garrity said. “Although the city would assume additional debt by paying off the short-term loan, it would not be assuming any additional financial liability because the loan was secured by the ball park.

This greatly simplifies the financial structure of the project, and the Dash will have the additional financial strength and stability with the new ownership group that includes the Chicago White Sox.”

The proposed agreement will be reviewed by the City Council Finance Committee at a special meeting on March 31.

MEDIA CAMPAIGN IN SIXTH DISTRICT RACE BEGINS

It looks like the media campaign in the race for the Republican nomination in the Sixth Congressional District is kicking off. An email from Greensboro City Councilman Zack Matheny announced a rally at the NewBridge Bank Park in downtown Greensboro. The campaign event is set for March 29 and features family friendly kids events and free hotdogs. But the political kicker is the news that incumbent Rep. Howard Coble will be in attendance. “Congressman Coble and I will share a few words with the crowd “¦,” the message states in part.

Coble is normally coy with his alliances and especially endorsements. When reached by phone Saturday, Matheny said he did not expect an endorsement.

“What (Coble) is wanting people to know is that this is an important race and he cares about it and he hopes that others will,” Matheny said. “He is raising awareness for Republican candidates and the race as a whole.”

Coble has stated that he is not endorsing anyone in the race, Matheny said, but the councilman expressed his gratitude for the appearance of the veteran congressman who announced his retirement earlier this year.

“I respect Howard tremendously and he’s been a mentor to me for as long as I’ve been around,” Matheny said. “Howard is a friend and a mentor and somebody that I want and strive to be like as a representative. So it means a lot.”

In the physical mailbox was a glossy mailer from Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr. Considered to be a front runner with Matheny and grassroots favorite Mark Walker, Berger touts his Christian faith and values that guide him every day. In addition to his faith, Berger highlights his support for Second Amendment rights and “our right to own and carry firearms”, his lifetime membership of the NRA, his 100-percent pro-life stance and opposition to “all federal funding or support for abortions.”

Berger also highlights his leadership in the passage of North Carolina’s Marriage Amendment.

SOUTH CENTRAL AREA PLAN ADVANCES

On Tuesday, March 25, Winston-Salem held its second community meeting for the South Central Area Plan Update at the Salvation Army at 1411 S. Broad Street. At the initial meeting in February, City staff compiled a list of the compliments, suggestions and concerns that the area residents voiced. At the meeting on March 25, the City presented the community with a draft of those recommendations.

The residents of the area complimented its Neighborhood Associations, cleanliness, cultural diversity, parks and easy access. Residents are also pleased with their proximity to many of the City’s attractions such as the Ballpark and Old Salem.

The complaints about the area were on things such as vehicular traffic, noise, flooding issues and crime. They also voiced complaints about needing a grocery store closer to the downtown area.

The suggestions that the residents urge the City to consider are on things such as adding more art to the area, improving aesthetics, and enforcing more rooming houses and zoning codes. !

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