County Council Votes on Bayfront Hotel - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

County Council Votes on Bayfront Hotel

After weeks of meetings and discussion, Erie County Council voted in favor 4-2, with one council person abstaining, of a bond guarantee of up to $60 million for the Erie County Convention Center Authority (ECCCA) and it's plans of building a new hotel along the bayfront.

A swing vote in this was councilman Jay Breneman. His no turned to a yes after it was determined ECCCA will pay the county $65,000 per year over the 30-year life span of this bond.

"This is what will really get the ball rolling. We'll see private development start, we'll get buildings on the tax roll and commerce starting down there. This is what we really need."

But for councilwoman Carol Loll, that guarantee wasn't enough. She said her constituents are worried about the risk involved of having to pay back if the authority defaults on the loan.

"There was a very, very small fractions of people, I would have to say 2% that thought this was a good idea," said Loll. "I was elected by my district to vote. Whether or not I agree with it, it was the way I had to vote."

Council Chairman Dr. Kyle Foust said the risk is just as minimal now, as it was when he voted 'yes' to the development of the Sheraton and Bayfront Convention Center.

"All the financial projections that were projected nine years ago have been met or exceeded, even though we live in recessionary times," said Foust.

Council members say they respect each other's perspectives, and now that a decision has been made, its time to work together.

ECCCA is hoping to break ground on this hotel this June.

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