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Council votes to delay convention center hotel deal

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A very frustrating situation. That's how Wilmington City Councilwoman Laura Padgett referred to the process of bringing a hotel downtown, next to the Wilmington Convention Center.

Tuesday night, Wilmington City Council approved extending negotiations with the company looking to develop the hotel.

What was supposed to be wrapped up in September, negotiations will now be delayed by four months to January 2013 as Harmony Hospitality LLC works to bring an Embassy Suites hotel downtown.

Because of complications with the site, including problems dealing with water lines, easements, and the size of the lot, the development company has asked for the extension. Also, because Embassy Suites is a subsidiary of Hilton, Harmony must apply for a franchise license, which could cause concerns about competition with a Hilton hotel already downtown.

Council also unanimously approved a two percent salary increase for both City Manager Sterling Cheatham and City Clerk Penelope Sidbury.

The 2012-13 budget gave all city employees the increase, however council evaluated the city manager and clerk separately.

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