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Hotel still ‘on table’ for council

Warren City Council may just be considering the 2021 budget but discussions about economic development and the role of government in that process have been at the forefront of the dialogue.

One such development — a proposed downtown hotel — has received significant pushback in recent months.

And City Manager Nancy Freenock didn’t paint a rosy picture about the project’s future during recent budget discussions.

“That’s a $7 million investment going to be made in the city,” she told council. “The developer was going to be paying taxes” and bringing jobs.

“(It) looks as though it may not happen because council has been convinced it shouldn’t happen.”

She highlighted recent pushback against development ideas at Washington Park as endemic of a larger issue.

“There’s a dichotomy,” Freenock said. “Some people are in favor of change. Some people are afraid of change. Young people aren’t just leaving Warren, they’re leaving Western Pennsylvania.”

Freenock told the Times Observer that the hotel specifically “is not yet formally off the table.

“We are still waiting for info concerning storm water management but it appears the public does not want a hotel at Breezepoint,” she said. “To my knowledge the only comments made to council regarding the project have been negative.

“I believe that council will act in accord with the wishes of its constituency.”

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