UPDATE: The resistance movement is in full swing. Join us, get updates and details at facebook.com/nostadium
With all the talk of the publicly-funded baseball stadium, there's typically not much attention paid to how much it's going to cost each Wilmingtonian.
Bill Saffo has been quoted as saying it will be $35 - 40M. I think that's a low ball, no pun intended. NHC County manager Bruce Shell has said it is estimated at $42M. Let's use that.
There are costs in addition to construction.
There's interest on the debt. The total cost of the convention center was about $60M, and total interest on the debt will be over $50M. Just this year, we paid $2.5M in interest on the convention center debt.
Let's be generous and give the stadium a lower interest rate than the convention center, and say it will accumulate $30M in interest on its debt.
There are also operational costs. It costs us $3M per year just to run the convention center. How much will it cost to run a baseball stadium? Again, let's be very generous and assume $1M.
Of course, these operational costs go on forever, but let's just assume they go on for only 30 years.
How much will everything cost the people of Wilmington?:
$42M in construction + $30M in interest + $30M in operational costs = $102M.
Total number of people in Wilmington? About 107,000.
This means a cost of $953 to every person living in Wilmington when everything is said and done.
Of course, not every person in Wilmington is a property tax payer, which is where the city gets its overwhelming majority of revenue. So, people paying property tax are going to get slammed. Of course, even if you're renting you indirectly pay property tax because the cost to the owner will go up.
Now, let's see what the bare minimum cost just for construction would be:
$42M/107k = $393/person.
Again, that isn't even including necessary costs such as interest or operational costs.
Is that the kind of money you want to pay? For some people that's nearly a rent check.
Everybody needs to go to facebook.com/nostadium and go to the protest Saturday, Feb. 18th at noon behind the convention center to sign this petition that can actually change the law in Wilmington.