Niagara Falls, NY -- The Niagara Falls City Council meets Monday night, but as of right now, the Hamister Hotel Project is not on the agenda.
After months of delays, and the deal almost falling through, Niagara Falls City Council Member Charles Walker remains confident the city will approve the $25-million hotel deal.
"We're looking forward to removing it from the table, because pretty much it has to be removed from the table to make the agenda," says Walker.
Walker, and his colleague Kristin Grandinetti, support the proposal, but so far have not had a three-member council majority this summer to make it happen.
"We should be able to get that third person. Based upon the questions and concerns they had, we should be able to move this project forward," says Walker.
Wednesday, hotel developer Mark Hamister sat down with Maryalice Demler to set the record straight.
"There is a bit of a cart and horse issue. They've asked us for the financing commitment. We are supplying to them letters of interest by our banks, but I can't obtain an underwritten committed mortgage for the property until I have a franchise. I can't have a franchise till I have site control. I don't have site control without a signed development agreement. I can't get a signed development agreement without this approval from the common council," says Mark Hamister.
"Being a council member, it was kind of disheartening to hear his frustrations, but I can understand them. Because like I say, when the process first began, a lot of the discussions that we're having now, we had. And pretty much, USA Niagara was supposed to get this thing to the table where we can get some development to happen and so they did their part and now it's up to us to do ours," says Walker.
Walker thinks the city council will be able to come to an agreement before Hamister walks away.
"I think that this is a project that is too important to the city, too important to the taxpayers. In order to maintain our taxes and maintain the services we have, we have to increase our tax base and this project will help us do that," says Walker.
We spoke with Councilman Sam Fruscione Friday night and asked him if he now supports the hotel deal. He refused to answer the question.