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Council Watch

Council watch

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The proposed Convention Center expansion, a massive expenditure that's been waiting in the wings for months, is set to hit City Council this week.

On Thursday Council will consider the multimillion dollar project, set to be paid for by hotel occupancy tax, to expand the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center eastward, eventually demolishing the older western wing to make way for a green, grassy park at HemisFair.

Specifically, Council will vote on a $304 million contract with a group called Hunt-Zachry, a partnership between San Antonio-based development giant Zachry Corp and the national builder Hunt Construction Group. Council will also consider an $8 million contract with Project Control of Texas, Inc., which will contract with a city-led team to oversee the Convention Center project, from design and construction plans to oversight and environmental impact assessments.

Council's also set to vote Thursday on downtown Councilman Diego Bernal's proposal to reign in predatory payday lending. The measure would cap loans at 20 percent of borrowers' gross monthly income, while limiting auto title loans to the lesser of 3 percent of the borrower's gross annual income or 70 percent of the vehicle value.

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