The new year brings several top leadership changes in Savannah's Chatham County. The county commission has four new members, including a new chairman. But another familiar face also is leaving the county government. Pat Monahan has been assistant county manager for 27 years.
Chatham County Commissioners are going forward with more study of a proposed hotel on Hutchinson Island. The hotel would be next to Savannah's waterfront convention center and could get some public financing. County officials say, private companies won't build the hotel without some kind of public support.
Chatham County taxpayers could be taking a big risk by publicly financing a new hotel at the Savannah Trade and Convention Center. That's the conclusion of a consultant hired by the trade center board to run the numbers. The consultant says, the hotel business is extremely volatile and the hotel's developer is being overly-optimistic about potential revenue.
Governor Nathan Deal still is reviewing a bill to boost tax incentives to spur some tourism projects. The tax breaks could help a proposed convention hotel in Savannah. Some hotel owners have tried to block the hotel because it could be financed with 50-million-dollars in county bonds. The opponents says, that's unfair to privately-backed hotels.
Officials in Savannah's Chatham County are closer to agreement over how much county taxpayers should finance a new hotel on Hutchinson Island. The project will add another hotel option for guests attending convention center events. But in the past few months, some have questioned possible public loans and hotel taxes going to the project.