Civil Discourse Now

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Anyone w/any sense will vote No on a $625 million bond issue tonight

Tonight’s big vote at the City-County Council meeting is on a $625 million bond issue to finish & run a hotel after banks passed on a golden opportunity to take the risk. There are several fine reasons why anyone w/any sense should vote against this proposal to authorize the city to 1/6

borrow up to $625 million for an 800-room, 4-star hotel on Pan Am Plaza. The Downtown Hotel Owners Association, in a letter to the Council & to Mayor Hogsett, described this as a “proposed gamble with public funds” that invites “significant risk” and notes “the private financial 2/6

market has done its due diligence and determined the project is too much of a financial risk for support.” The letter notes “there are more pressing matters that are increasingly keeping visitors and conventions from coming to Indianapolis.” Here are reasons to vote this down: 3/6

1) Too much of a risk: even banks said “No.” 2) Sours future offers to businesses to locate here because there’s always a threat the City will field its own team 3) No one has said who has the expertise to run an 800-room, luxury hotel. 4) We shouldn’t forget cost over-runs. The plan 4/6

allows for “an extra $115 million to provide breathing room in case of cost overruns,” Vop Osili, Council President has explained & said the hotel will enable Indy “to draw top-tier conventions away from competitor cities.” I’m pretty sure banks considered this as a factor, but also 5/6

Indy will compete w/downtown hotels already here. The project will have cost overruns. That $115 mil now is part of the cost. Anyone w/any sense should vote this down, but we aren’t talking about people with any sense. We’re talking about the City-County Council. 6/6

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