Breaking: Sources say Monday's City Council vote on the hotel will be 9-0 in favor of the project. City Councilman John Friend says he will vote 'yes' for the hotel project but could not confirm whether the project would have unanimous support.
The City Council will convene at a special meeting on Monday, September 30th. The only item on the agenda will be the proposed convention hotel.
The hotel's apparent unanimous support comes just a week after the hotel proposal was deemed dead on arrival. Last Thursday, it was revealed that 6 of the 9 City Councilmembers were going to vote 'no' on the hotel project.
After a marathon meeting Monday night, the majority of the Evansville City Council decided to delay a vote on the convention hotel project for another week. The decision came after Mayor Lloyd Winnecke detailed some drastic changes to how the project will be financed and how much public money will go into it.
The five hour, eighteen minute Finance Committee meeting before the actual City Council meeting Monday became heated at times as more than 40 people spoke for or against the hotel project. Mayor Winnecke was the first to take the podium as he outlined the latest changes to the financing of the hotel project, including the lowering of the public subsidy.
The public subsidy for the actual hotel project has been dropped to $7.5 million with the City also contributing $12.5 million for ancillary projects like infrastructure improvements and the parking garage. That brings the City's total contribution for the hotel project to $20 million. Earlier on Monday, Eyewitness News learned a group of local private investors would contribute $11.5 million to the hotel project which, in turn, would lower the public subsidy. While it's not clear what entities are a part of this group of private investors, Eyewitness News can confirm the group is headlined by Old National Bank.
Now, it appears the drastic change in the hotel's financing was the tipping point for some members of City Council. The newly announced private investment lessened the city's risk in the hotel deal.