Evansville City Council to Start 1st Phase of IU Med School Funding

City Councilman President John Friend sponsored an ordinance to fund the IU Medical School for $51.1 million. That ordinance is up for it's first reading Monday night.
"Exciting" and "game changer" have been the words used most by Evansville's elected officials since the IU Board of Trustees announced it wants to put it's medical school in the heart of downtown Evansville. Now we can add a couple more words to the list, "slam dunk."

"We're really excited about this. This should be a slam dunk. We've got to get the properties where the school is going to be situated. So that's the first phase. We're going to move the city forward in this exciting time." City Councilman Jonathan Weaver says the hardest part is behind them. The medical school is coming to Evansville. Now the city needs to find a way to fund it.

Councilman John Friend is sponsoring an ordinance that would fund the project for 51.1 million dollars. A little more than eight million of that would be used to purchase D-Patrick's properties on Walnut. A deal that Mayor Winnecke's Office has already been working toward completing. "Seems like a natural process. The price seems to be fairly reasonable. It's just something that we need both parties to agree that those properties are needed for the medical school and to move the city forward," said Council Weaver.

In other downtown projects, such as the convention center hotel, the question of how the project would be funded split the city council. However Councilman Weaver doesn't see that being a problem in the case of the IU Medical School. "Anybody that is going to vote against it is an idiot I think."

Councilman Weaver says this is the first step for funding the project. He says by moving forward and securing the properties it raises the chances of state legislators approving the deal in next year's general assembly.

City Council hopes to pay D-Patrick for it's properties by June 1st.
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