Meridian Prepares for Hotel Construction

The City Council met with John Tampa, the developer who plans to put two new hotels, two restaurants and an office space in Meridian. Tampa says he's ready to get started, but he and the Council must first acquire right-of-ways for the road leading out.

"The main issue is the right-of-way and the sewer. Hugh Smith has been involved. Right now they do have a plan to do that," said Ward 5 Councilman Randy Hammon. "We're going to have to bring it before the Council to get a confidence vote to go ahead with the city's part."

The total cost for the project is $17 million, and the city is preparing to take on a portion of that fund.

"The city would have to assist him in providing up to $400,000 in financing to create an access road to his hotel facility, which we would see back in taxes over the next couple of years," explained Ward 2 Councilman Dustin Markham.

The Council says this is an investment that pays for itself because it benefits Meridian in so many ways. One of which is that Mr. Tampa plans to give preference to locals when he finally begins the hiring process.

Hammon says that could be anywhere from 55 to 100 employees.

"He has made that clear to us that at all costs, he will try to use contractors here locally," he said.

Tampa announced that he is also looking at sites in downtown Meridian for future construction.

"I'd like to also see in the future some industrial factory jobs come in, in addition to these great hotel developments," Markham said.

The two hotels are expected to be completed by 2014.