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Charlotte Observer: City To Reveal Latest Plan For Uptown Baseball Stadium

The Charlotte City Council will hear Tuesday the latest proposal for a city subsidy for a proposed new uptown stadium for the Charlotte Knights. The AAA baseball team, which currently plays in Fort Mill, has asked the city for $11 million, and the most recent city staff proposal was for council members to give the Knights $8.5 million. That subsidy would come from $6 million in hotel/motel tax revenue, paid over 20 years, and a $2.5 million rebate on most of the city property taxes the team is expected to pay over the next two decades. But some council members have balked over the property tax rebate, including Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon. Mayor Anthony Foxx has said he's ambivalent about helping the team. Unsure if the proposal can find six votes on council, Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble will present a new plan for the Knights during the council's dinner briefing at 4 p.m. It's unclear how the latest proposal will have changed. One possibility is having Center City Partners contribute to the stadium. Center City Partners, an uptown think tank/booster group, is mostly funded by a special property tax district inside Interstate 277 and South End. The group could spend some of its property tax revenue for the stadium project, which it has championed. Mecklenburg County already has pledged $8 million for the stadium and $24 million in uptown property. If the city approves the $8.5 million, taxpayers would pay for more than half the project's $78 million cost. Public hearing on budgets The City Council will also hold a public hearing for City Manager Curt Walton's proposed operating and capital budgets. The capital budget is expected to bring out many speakers. Walton has proposed a $926 million capital plan over the next eight years, with money reinvested into many of the city's struggling areas. The plan is designed to spend money on large projects intended to spark economic development. Some of the proposals include building more of a planned streetcar line; renovating Bojangles Coliseum into an amateur sports complex; investing in a road network west of Charlotte Douglas International Airport to take advantage of a new railyard being built there; and investing in a series of infrastructure improvements around UNC-Charlotte to act as a catalyst for possible technology startups. The public hearing will be part of the regular City Council meeting, which begins at 7:15 p.m. Copyright 2012 The Charlotte Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.