Dahlkemper Encourages Dialogue on Hotel Dispute - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Dahlkemper Encourages Dialogue on Hotel Dispute

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All the parties are talking in the conflict over public versus private funding of hotel development projects on the bayfront.

Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper confirmed to Weekends Now that she brought all the parties to the table for a meeting on Friday and they are expected to meet again on Monday.

Representatives from Erie County Council, the Convention Center Authority and Scott Enterprises were all involved in the first face to face conversation on the funding issues. 

Nick Scott Sr., confirmed the meeting too.  He wouldn't say exactly what was discussed, but credited the county executive with bringing the parties together. Scott's company plans to develop a multi-million dollar project called Harbor Place on the east bayfront using mostly private money and to put that new development on the tax rolls.

Scott opposes the Convention Center Authority's request to county government, asking them to guarantee loans for a second hotel connected to the Bayfront Convention Center. Leaders behind that development say they are trying to protect a $25 million dollars state grant promised for that project, near the former GAF site.

County council is scheduled to vote on Tuesday, but it's not clear if they have the votes to approve the loan guarantee. New County Councilman, Jay Breneman has said publicly he wants to see a guarantee of at least a P.I.L.O.T. - payment in lieu of taxes agreement, before he would vote to back another convention center hotel.

Scott Enterprises has been lobbying for public support of the private hotel funding position though a media campaign.

Kathy Dahlkemper told us that, "People want to see a solution so development on the bayfront can move forward."  That's why she brought the parties together, and she is glad the dialogue is happening.  Friday's meeting took place behind closed doors.  Dahlkemper said it was not a formal meeting of county council with all members present, so it did not have to be open to the news media.

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