ECCCA Bond Guarantee Focus of Council Finance Meeting - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

ECCCA Bond Guarantee Focus of Council Finance Meeting

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The Erie County Convention Center Authority (ECCCA) is looking for a $60 million guarantee from Erie County Council to build a  hotel at the old GAF site. They've been talking about it for weeks, and had another chance to talk to council at it's Thursday finance meeting.

"They wanted additional data, additionally clarification on that data, and I think that we were able to provide them everything they asked for," said Casey Wells, Executive Director of ECCCA.

But for some council members, like Carol Loll, that clarification, wasn't enough. She still has reservations about approving this guarantee because the authority still has to pay back $45 million from building the Sheraton. She's worried about  how they'll be able to cover two hotels and says the people in her district have the same concerns.

"The constituents in my district, and all over Erie County, do not want their tax dollars put in line to have to back up a bond issue that they many possible have to pay."

But Wells said tax payers didn't pay for the Sheraton and won't for this proposed Marriott. The only way they would is if they defaulted on their loan, and he doesn't see that happening.

"The performance and projections we presented back in 2004 have all been met or exceeded. We have a great track record of being able to fulfill our promises."

Scott Enterprises also wants to develop the bayfront, with it's own Harbor Place project, and Chris Scott questions the impact this Marriott would have on the Sheraton, and ultimately on tax payers.

"We know from being in the hotel industry that there's absolutely no way that a brand new Courtyard by Marriott, which is a stronger brand than the Sheraton with lower proposed rates, will absolutely have a negative effect on the Sheraton."

But it is up to the seven members of council, and they're expected to vote on this at the February 11 meeting.

 

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