Future of Evansville Downtown hotel now hinges on Monday vote - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

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Future of Evansville Downtown hotel now hinges on Monday vote

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The Evansville City Council plans to vote on whether or not to support a downtown hotel next Monday, September 23.

An earlier scheduled vote was delayed to allow the council more time to look over the project, and to have a third party review personal finances related to developer HCW. Mayor Winnecke says this morning he asked Council to delay the vote until Monday, Sept. 30, but was not successful.

"I'm disappointed, but not discouraged," Winnecke said to a room full of media.

Winnecke says he met with City Council President Connie Robinson, Finance Chairman John Friend and Councilman Dr. H. Dan Adams Wednesday morning.  He says he expected to hear recommendations to change the scope of the current hotel project and that a new firm had been "engaged to conduct a third party financial evaluation."

Instead, Winnecke says he was surprised to hear the Council had shifted the focus of their concern.  He says the council members he met with expressed to them their desire to attract the IU Medical School expansion project.  This is something the Mayor says he, too, wholeheartedly supports.  He says Council told him they "recognize the need for a hotel, but believe the medical school should take priority."

Winnecke says he believes the city has the financial capability to do both projects.  According to the Mayor, the medical school expansion project is still in the early stages; no decision on location or funding from the State has been made. 

Mayor Winnecke says that he's not giving up yet, and will make a strong push to get five members of Council to vote "yes" to the hotel project at next Monday's meeting.

When asked what would happen if the project was voted down, Winnecke replied, "I don't know. If the vote is no, the current project as we know it will be dead.  What happens after that is, I don't know yet." 

Click here to watch Mayor Winnecke answering the media's questions after Wednesday's meeting with city council leadership.

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