Hotel project, contract matters approved by Council

During St. Marys City Council's meeting on Monday evening, City Manager Dave Greene provided his report on the various activities and events he recently attended, including an April 10 meeting held at North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission (NCPRPDC) to discuss the new hotel planned for downtown St. Marys.Greene reiterated that North Central is administering the $3 million grant approved by Harrisburg, while Bob Ayoob has been approved as consultant on the hotel project. Funding has been approved, with documents being signed within 60 days of March 1. According to Greene, the Hampton Inn has expressed interest in the location. Developer Bob Yoder will own the building, with St. Marys Hospitality LLC managing it for him.Mayor Sally Geyer inquired about Yoder's financial status, referencing the numerous media reports she has read about his financial problems. Greene stated each property stands on its own and that St. Marys Hospitality LLC is the corporation that applied for the funding, with Yoder listed as the principal; both listed as separate corporations. Councilman Dan Hepner noted that a letter of intent for the project was signed at the end of February stating the funding is guaranteed. Yoder was required to furnish 10 percent of the funding within 60 days and close on the project within 120 days. Hepner added the initial market report for the hotel issued in 2010, prior to any discussion or plans regarding Marcellus Shale impact, did not take any shale development into consideration and that even at that time, the hotel could have stood on its own.The City has been asked to upgrade its feasibility study, requesting an appraisal on the hotel once it's built.