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Hotel bailout: City should not be on the hook

June 11. 2018 9:25PM

Manchester taxpayers should not borrow $5 million to finance a new hotel and parking garage in the Millyard.

Developer Peter Flotz is asking aldermen for $5 million in bonds to keep the $23.5 million Tru by Hilton project afloat, claiming that it “is appraising at $18 million.”

Manchester taxpayers are not, and should not be, responsible for the risks associated with commercial development in the city.

Flotz is also seeking tax breaks available under the state’s Community Revitalization Tax Relief Incentive program. Aldermen should seriously consider every tool that the Legislature has made available.

Putting city taxpayers on the hook for an estimated $400,000 in annual debt service for the next 20 years is not acceptable.

Flotz proposes using parking revenues to pay back the bonds, and promises to make up for any shortfall. But if Flotz can’t use these revenues to secure private financing, aldermen should not become commercial bankers.

The Millyard could use more hotel rooms and parking spaces. We hope the Hilton project succeeds. Aldermen should resist the temptation to get City Hall into the hotel business.

Business Local and County Government Editorial Manchester

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