Winnecke 'Not Afraid to be Aggressive'

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The State of the City address was hosted by the Evansville Noon Rotary Club, which donated $100,000 toward a water feature at Roberts Park. The State of the City address was hosted by the Evansville Noon Rotary Club, which donated $100,000 toward a water feature at Roberts Park.

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke used his State of the City address to update progress on several high-profile projects. They include the multi-institutional downtown medical center led by Indiana University, the $61 million DoubleTree Convention Center Hotel and the recently-approved move of the Tropicana Casino from the Ohio River inland. Winnecke also unveiled a $13 million, three-year investment plan for road and drainage improvements called "Municipal Moves."

The mayor says the city "must not rest on its laurels" over the next four years and adds "with everything laid out today, I think it’s obvious that the level of activity in our city is intense and our Administration is not afraid to be aggressive."

Some projects in the works include:

  • The Medical Center, which will receive support through the Regional Cities Initiative for a new research component, continues to be on-track
  • The DoubleTree Hotel, which Winnecke says could be finished in December after years of delay and a major redesign
  • The $50 million, 75,000 square-foot Tropicana Casino, which could take up to two years to complete

Winnecke says Municipal Moves involves more than 60 miles of road work and 21 drainage projects that will "dramatically improve our streets and drainage infrastructure."

The city is also updating the master plan for its downtown, which he says will be complete in the next few weeks. He says the new plan will include "some common sense 'quick wins'" and it will be crafted as an active document. It will offer components to "activate our riverfront, recommend solutions for unused space and how best to brand sections within the downtown area." The last plan was completed in 2001.

He says half of the casino's pre-payment will fund four quality of life projects:

  • Reopening the Mesker Park Amphitheater
  • A new South American Penguin exhibit at the Mesker Park Zoo
  • Improvements to Lloyd Pool
  • Rekindling plans for Roberts Park, where Roberts Arena once stood

Winnecke also expressed his excitement for the yet-to-be-named Southern Professional Hockey League franchise set to play in the 2016-2017 season at the Ford Center.

You can connect to the full, prepared text of Winnecke's address by clicking here.

Winnecke discussed many of the projects that will benefit the city through the statewide Regional Cities Initiative.
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    • (photo courtesy of WTHR-TV)

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