Vote on conference center expected by council tonight


Annapolis aldermen hoping to speed development of a proposed conference center along the West Street corridor will bring the issue to a vote tonight when the city council resumes its meetings after the summer recess.

The resolution, sponsored by Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins and Alderman Shep Tullier, asks the city to take a symbolic vote urging county and state funding for the project at West Street and Taylor Avenue.

Earlier this month, a review panel assembled by Mr. Hopkins endorsed a conference center for Annapolis. Outraged city residents say the center contains hidden costs to taxpayers and worry that it would be developed without giving them a voice.

Aldermen also will take on other hotly contested issues.

The council is expected to vote on a resolution that would allow sidewalk cafes on the city's streets before the end of the month. The measure would make the outdoor establishments legal until Dec. 15. By that time, cafe supporters hope a bill will be passed permitting the cafes on a permanent basis.

Another controversial bill expected to be voted on would allow the Harbour House restaurant at City Dock to change ownership, with a 2 a.m. closing time. Several aldermen are trying to use the measure as a springboard to pass legislation allowing late-night closing times for other restaurants in the historic district.

The council meets at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

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