Ed Cone makes the case that the proposed taxpayer-financed downtown Greensboro hotel is a done deal because the money is already in hand.

I see his point —– the unanimous City Council motion on Dec. 15 approved the application for participation in the federal recovery zone bond program, and council discussion indicated that the application was mere formality, which is exactly why I wished they had voted hell no in the first place.

Admittedly, there’s never really been a doubt about whether or not the funding would be there; it was just a matter of which project would be funded. At that time, the hotel was being was being proposed for the corner of S. Elm and Lee Streets. The city’s major involvement there was selling the land to the development group. But the city’s out of the loop on land transactions since Elm Street Center owns the new Davie Street site.

N&R coverage still makes it sound like the City Council has to sign off on using this particular funding for this particular project, writing “it’s no sure bet that the council will approve the financing…”

OK, so the federal government is doling out the money, local governments are allocating it, yet the taxpayer is totally off the hook if this deal goes south. Or so they assure us.