JAMESTOWN – Jamestown City Council approved a $350,000 loan from the Jamestown Local Development Corporation to the Doubletree by Hilton project on Fourth Street, even though a councilman questioned procedures by the lawmaking body.
Councilman At-Large Andrew Liuzzo questioned why the city used a “Dummy Resolution“ as a place holder for the JLDC Loan. Liuzzo asked why the council is voting on a “blank piece of paper.”
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi explained that the “Dummy Resolution” is only temporary as the final details are ironed out.
Teresi also said the fight to secure funding was a long one, after the hotel won a land value reassessment of the project.
The Hamister Group challenged the property tax assessment on the property in State Supreme Court and won. The assessment was reduced from $3.3 million to $1.8 million, costing the City of Jamestown around $38,000 a year in tax revenue.
“They won in State Supreme Court a significant reduction, but the City will not experience the expense of that reduction,” said Teresi.
“Their incentive is that there were modifications made to the terms of the agreement that add a benefit to them, as well as some additional things that we were able to bring forth.”
The Mayor told our Matt Hummel that City officials never feared Hamister Group pulling out of Jamestown.
Teresi said the Hamister Group is now going to make a voluntary $38,000 a year payment to offset the funding lost though the life of the loan.
“The loan was originally approved by both the JLDC Board and the City Council back in June of 2016,” Teresi said. “The reason it required City Council approval, as Mr. Dejoy indicated, is because any loan over $100,000 needs to be ratified by the City Council.”
The City is also providing extra Community Development Block Grants that were not available in 2016.
The project is expected to be open in July.
Teresi said the project won’t actually receive any money until the project is done and open for business.
Teresi said that the Hamister Group’s Project is critical to downtown development with the expectation of the National Comedy Center opening this summer.