Plans for the hotel located at the Pine Bluff Convention Center received a big boost Tuesday when the Urban Renewal Agency agreed to contribute nearly $3 million to the project.

That action sparked a special called meeting of the Pine Bluff City Council which voted 5-3 for a resolution accepting the money and placing it in a special account to be used for the project.

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Wednesday morning, Ryan Watley, CEO of Go Forward Pine Bluff appeared on the Oldies 1013 morning show and talked about the process.

Watley said Farmers State Bank of Harrisburg, Il., will provide an $18-million USDA loan to the Hotel Public Facilities Board. The bank had been approached by a representative of the P3 Group about financing.

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He said the urban renewal board was assured that its ongoing projects would not be affected if it committed to providing the funds needed for the city’s contribution to the loan.

Watley also talked about the special council meeting.

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Council members Glen Brown Sr., Steven Mays, and Bruce Lockett cast the three no votes while council members LaTisha Brunson, Glen Brown Jr., Lloyd Holcomb Jr., Steven Shaner, and Lanette Frazier voted yes.