Vanderburgh Co. officials pledge support for downtown hotel - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Vanderburgh Co. officials pledge support for downtown hotel

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Vanderburgh County officials formally pledge their support for the city's downtown convention hotel project on Tuesday night. 

That support adds up to $3.5 million dollars, but there are some concerns about how the hotel project will impact The Centre, which is right across the street.

It was a busy day and will be a busy week leading up to the vote on Monday night. The city council has made two demands that it wants, in writing, before that vote is taken.  

The first is getting the labor agreement completed. The second demand was met on Tuesday night when county commissioners signed the agreement pledging their support the project.

"I don't know that they have a direct design where they're going to put our skywalk now," County Commissioner Marsha Abell said.

Some county commissioners raised concerns before adopting the resolution of financial support for the city's convention hotel project. The $3.5 million from the county is only to be used for parts of the project that benefit the county run, Centre.  

That's why Commissioner Steve Melcher says he's concerned about plans for a skywalk that would connect the county's Centre to the city's hotel.

"What we need to do is make sure we've got something pretty nice that when the walkway comes out of the Centre, it goes into a hub and you get your choice of the hotel, the parking garage, or the Ford Center," Melcher said.

"I don't think anyone knows where our skywalk will go now," Abell said.

Even though parts of the plan were changed dramatically over the weekend, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke's office tells 14 News that the location of the skywalk has not changed. He says that it will connect the hotel, The Centre, and the Ford Center.  

Of the $3.5 million pledged by the county Tuesday night, $2 million of that is coming from the inn keeper tax. Something some opponents of the project want changed.

"We still would like to see the inn keeper tax eliminated from this and that's what our side really needs in order to begin to get on board with this," Brad Linzy said.

But Mayor Winnecke says that or any other changes aren't likely to happen. 

"I don't want to change the recipe any more. I don't want anymore ingredients added or subtracted," Mayor Winnecke said.

The city council is expected to vote on the project Monday night.  

On Wednesday morning, Abell will present the resolution adopted at Tuesday's meeting to the county council.  

If you would like to read that resolution, click here.

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