Abele to veto Innovation Park hotel development agreement

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele plans to veto the development agreement approved last week by the County Board for an extended stay hotel at the Innovation Park development in Wauwatosa in an attempt to eliminate wage requirements for the project, Abele spokesman Brendan Conway said.

The Milwaukee County Board last week approved an amendment to its development agreement with the UWM Real Estate Foundation for the entire Innovation Park development, located northeast of U.S. Highway 45 and Watertown Plank Road in Wauwatosa, for the proposed 128-room extended stay hotel. However, the board also added an amendment requiring that employees at the hotel be paid wages at “125 percent of the poverty level for a family of four” and that employees at the hotel must receive at least five paid sick days per year. The requirements could be waived by the employees in collective bargaining.

The developer for the project said the wage and sick day requirements would kill the project.

Abele plans to veto the measure in hopes of getting the County Board to reconsider and approve the development agreement for the hotel without a wage and sick day requirement, Conway said.

“There is real hope here that we could get this project back on track,” Conway said.

Seven votes are needed for the County Board to sustain a veto by the county executive. The wage and sick day requirements were approved by a 10-8 vote. If that vote holds, the veto planned by Abele would be upheld.

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