A private group wants to build the $25 million facility downtown and Alderman Jeff Jirschele authored a plan to have an outside expert look out for Appleton’s interests in the yet-to-be-signed long-term lease agreement. The plan had support from both Mayor Tim Hanna and Karen Harkness, the city’s director of community and economic development.
Wednesday’s vote, however, was a budget amendment so it required two-thirds of the 15-person council. The 8-6 vote dropped the measure. Those voting against were: Alders Patti Coenen, Greg Dannecker, Sarah Garb, Kole Oswald, Kathy Plank and Cathy Spears.
“I wasn’t surprised by the vote. Disappointed, concerned, but not surprised,” Harkness said Wednesday. “It’s paramount that the lease is negotiated to protect the broader community’s interests.”
City leadership maintains that they want to see a final lease agreement between the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel and Fox Cities Exhibition Center, Inc. before releasing a $3.4 taxpayer investment.
Read more about what the future holds for the facility in Sunday’s City Notes column.
— Nick Penzenstadler: 920-996-7226, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @npenzenstadler