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After nearly a 5 hour finance committee meeting that was for the most part a public forum on the current embodiment of the hotel deal Council President Connie Robinson declared after a voice vote of 7 – 2 to defer the hotel vote until next Monday night at 5 PM. That special meeting will have no other topics except the hotel on the agenda.
Since last Thursday when it became apparent that the $37.5 Million public subsidy supported by Mayor Winnecke, the Redevelopment Commission, and Council members Weaver, Mosby, and McGinn the public subsidy by the City of Evansville has been reduced to only $7.5 Million to the hotel with the balance of the proposed $20 Million bond allocated for infrastructure and a parking garage. The county has committed to pay $1.5 Million to the project in February with the CVB kicking in another $2 Million.
In what was perhaps one of the most courageous moves of the public comments opposition leader Brad Linzy asked the crowd how they liked the saving of $17.5 Million in public dollars only to follow that question with a strong “you’re welcome”. Local Innkeeper’s attorney Joe Langerak spoke eloquently about how much better this deal was now than it was just four days ago and credited the members of the council along with the opposition for forcing that to happen.
It was also revealed that the rumored $13 Million gift from local business leaders is actually an $11.5 Million investment in part ownership of the hotel. When asked how much equity by President Robinson, HCW’s Rick Huffman slipped and said 25% only to say later that the deal was private and that the City Council will not be allowed to know the terms of the deal. The City of Evansville will get no equity for the $7.5 Million subsidy.
This is a developing story.