In an email obtained by Eyewitness News, Mayor Winnecke sent a letter to all 9 members of the council, announcing after discussing the hotel project with developer HCW, some project reductions will cut back the amount of funds required.
$5 million of the $37.5 million dollar project will be cut, in the form of a retail building proposed to put shops in the area of the hotel. The mayor says while he still believes in the retail opportunities, the store space can be added at another time. Winnecke's letter also says an independent consultant increased the outlook of the hotel market for the Evansville area, and HCW was willing to reduce the city's subsidy of the hotel by $1 million. The reductions would require the city to invest $19 million in the hotel project, and $12.5 million in the apartments, parking, and other spaces around the development.
After obtaining this information, Eyewitness News reached out to several city council members who expressed previously they would not support the project. Councilmen Conor O'Daniel (D-at Large) and Al Linsey (D-6th Ward) have both expressed the public subsidy s still too large for them to support the hotel project. Council President Connie Robinson (D-4th Ward) says she has not yet fully reviewed the proposal. Councilman John Friend (D-5th Ward), Councilman H. Dan Adams (D-at Large) and Councilwoman Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley (D-3rd Ward) have not yet responded to our requests for comment. Councilman Jonathan Weaver (D-at Large), Councilwoman Missy Mosby (D-2nd Ward) and Councilman Dan McGinn (R-1st Ward) all previously expressed support for the project.
Eyewitness News will Continue to Monitor this story, and provide updates as we get them.