Feb. 11--A four-member majority of Erie County Council appears poised to approve a loan guarantee for a new hotel to be built next to the Bayfront Convention Center.
Two more council members told the Erie Times-News today they will vote for the guarantee. That means four of council's seven members said they are in favor.
The council members who confirmed their support today are Phil Fatica and Jay Breneman. They join Kyle Foust, the chairman, and Edward T. DiMattio Jr., who have repeatedly expressed their support for the plan.
Fatica and Breneman told the Times-News they favor the project in light of the Erie County Convention Center Authority's vote this morning to give the county $65,000 a year in exchange for the loan guarantee over the life of the 30-year bonds needed for the project, or an estimated $2 million.
The authority also agreed to give the county a parcel of land, valued at $250,000, at the northeast corner of State Street and the Bayfront Parkway, so the county can swap that parcel with land private developer Nick Scott owns by the county's Blasco Library. Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper is looking for land for more parking, the Convention Center Authority said.
Breneman, who had pushed for a payment from the Convention Center Authority, said he will vote in favor of the guarantee at tonight's council meeting, which starts at 7 at the Erie County Courthouse.
"I am satisfied with the terms negotiated with ECCCA for payment to offset the risk taken by Erie County taxpayers in guaranteeing the bond," Breneman said.
Said Fatica: "I am certainly now going that way. You can say now that I plan to vote 'yes.'"
Both Breneman and Fatica responded to the Erie Times-News based on tweets the Times-News sent from the Convention Center Authority meeting.
Those council members who have said they are opposed to the guarantee are Carol Loll and Andre Horton.
Councilman Fiore Leone, who has said he will abstain from voting because of a potential conflict of interest, is recovering from surgery and will not be at tonight's meeting anyway.
Horton this morning said he will ask County Council to postpone their planned vote.
"If I can't get them to table it, then I'll vote no," Horton said during a brief news conference he held inside Erie County Courthouse.
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