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American Tobacco Business Plan Presented To Durham Leaders

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DURHAM, N.C. — With its parking deck problems in the rearview mirror, it is full steam ahead for Durham's American Tobacco project.

Monday, Durham County commissioners and the city council voted to spend $43.2 million to build parking decks to help support the project.

Thursday, the proposed business points for the deal were released. Leaders learned of details surrounding the project, including a target date for completion set for June 30, 2010.

In the business points laid out Thursday, Capitol Broadcasting, WRAL-TV's parent company, will design and develop the parking decks and the city and the county will pay for them with $43 million in taxpayer's money.

If the parking decks cost more than agreed upon, the developer will pick up the tab. If the project comes in under the projected costs, the county and the city would get the money.

The plan also shows that some streets may have to be permanently closed near the north parking deck.

Council members have at least 10 days to digest the deal.

"The objective is to allow council members and commissioners to offer suggestions on how to make the document better," said Mike Hill of Capitol Broadcasting.

County manager Mike Ruffin plans to send commissioners copies of the business points and does not anticipate any problems.

"We're working together, and I think the project is going to move forward as expected. I don't believe you'll find the county will be an obstacle, I think we're going to be a partner in this," Ruffin said.

The city council and the county commission could hold a joint meeting the week of August 19 to vote on the business points.


Julia Lewis, Reporter
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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