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Longview City Council OKs conference survey as first step

By Richard Yeakley
March 28, 2013 at 11 p.m.

The Longview City Council agreed Thursday to spend as much as $40,000 for an architectural survey that could bring a South Longview hotel-conference center to life.

Assistant City Manager Chuck Ewings told council members the survey would help city staff and Lodging Host Hotel Corp. determine whether their proposed partnership - which could lead to the construction of the facility near the intersection of South Eastman Road and South Estes Parkway - is feasible.

"This would be an initial agreement to start to determine an architectural design and cost estimates," Ewings said. "Before entering into a master development agreement, we want to know what the cost is, what the roles are going to be of each party."

He also made clear the city's outlay would be paying only for study of the conference center, or the public portion of the project. Lodging Host also will be paying for the study of the private business portion.

Mayor Jay Dean reminded the council that the details of the hotel/convention center are still up for consideration.

Initial plans for the center called for a 1,000-person banquet hall with seven breakout rooms, along with a full-service restaurant and bar connected to a hotel with 150 rooms.

"I think it is very important for us to understand that what this process does - it puts us through a due diligence process," Dean said. "Some of that information is going to come through this stuff."

The council also approved a new slate of board and commission members.

Councilman Sidney Allen said he was pleased with makeup of the slate of nominations brought before the council.

"Thank you. We have a lot of new people and a lot of longtime citizens here in Longview, and I certainly feel good about those people stepping forward to fill those positions," Allen said.



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