When it comes to the City Council and the convention-hotel project, we've heard from those for it, and we've heard from those against it. There's a very important piece to this puzzle, and a very important voice in this whole debate, the average taxpayer. We now share what people downtown are saying on the eve of the hotel vote. Nine people serve on Evansville's City Council. They represent the more than 117 thousand people that call Evansville home, but tomorrow night's hotel vote could effect everyone.
For years it's been sitting like this, fence and metal, smack dab in the center of downtown Evansville. On Monday it's fate on the front lines. The final decision over a proposed convention hotel will go before City Council. From Weaver and Mosby, to Brinkerhoff-Riley, and the rest of City Council, from Mayor Winnecke and even Commissioners. We've heard from them all. Their arguments for and against the hotel.
Now, it's time to hear what they have to say. "I walk by this, I don't even know what to call it, I walk by it every single day," says Dakota Simon. The people of Evansville are ready to talk. "I feel like there should be a hotel there," says Simon. He says he's ready for a hotel to fill the lot. Thomas Hibbs agrees. He says anything will be better than what currently resides. "I see a lot of potential in this field," says Hibbs. Hibbs says the area has been an eyesore for far too long. "It's very sad looking. You have all these buildings, you have the new Ford Center. They could at least do something instead of keeping it just an empty lot." He worries the impression the lot leaves on others passing by. "People have to drive by it, and they don't want to see that," says Hibbs. Even if the council shuts down a new hotel, Hibbs says, at this point he will take anything over the empty lot." Please do something better instead of keeping it an empty lot. You can do a hotel, you can do whatever you want," says Hibbs. "When I first moved down here seven years ago, there was nothing. Now, I feel like there's more people coming down here, which is great for us," says Karen Rogal. She says she has seen the potential the city has first hand, and asks her elected officials to keep pushing forward even if it's just a little green. She says it's better than gravel. "Plant some grass or benches. It can at least not be an eyesore."Several people say they would even consider having a green space in the area, until the city can decide what to do.