Bass Pro Shops project developer's new plan - WFLA News Channel 8

Bass Pro Shops project developer's new plan

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The Hillsborough county commission listens to public comment about a future Bass Pro Shops. The Hillsborough county commission listens to public comment about a future Bass Pro Shops.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

First, it was a 15 million-dollar incentive package to lure Bass Pro Shops to Brandon.  After public outrage, developers lowered the number to $8.25 million.

When it still didn't gain traction among Hillsborough County Commissioners, the developer came back with a new plan.

"The proposed amendment, as he indicated basically reconfigures the phasing of transportation improvements, increasing some the entitlements for the first phase," the developer told commissioners.

It's complicated, but this plan would speed up the road improvements around the proposed complex which the developer is required to make.

The developer is still asking for public reimbursement, but this proposal would lower that number to $6.2 million.

Small business owners and other critics weren't swayed.  "I'm opposed to any incentive," said a Valrico resident who spoke out against the project. "$15 million, $8 million, $6 million, 2 cents of our money that you decide to bargain with."

More than a dozen business owners showed up to oppose what they call tax relief for a store that could put them out of business.  They say they didn't receive tax money to open their shops, and neither should anyone else.

Bass Pro and its developer still have an uphill battle.  Commissioners will vote on the road improvement plan next Tuesday.  If that's approved, commissioners will vote on the public money Feb. 20.

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