Tax credit deal in place for new hotel

Oconee County Council made good on a commitment to allow the developer of a new Seneca hotel a tax credit agreement. But the final action last night required a series of parliamentary procedures as District Two’s Wayne McCall made an unsuccessful attempt to refer the deal and related matters for the county attorney’s study. McCall said he was influenced by federal documents related to the developer’s financial ability to see the project through. Seneca’s new Hampton Inn and Suites, at last report, is planning a September 27 official opening. During a public hearing last night, Britt Adams complained that the council had not done “due diligence” and questioned why the Hampton was getting a financial benefit which other lodging businesses, such as the Best Western, did not receive. And he was able to elicit District One’s Paul Corbeil to correct Corbeil’s comments that tax dollars were not part of the approved package. County Administrator Scott Moulder said the county is approving $1 million from millage devoted to economic development purposes. Corbeil insists that the law is such that anyone who can so qualify can obtain assistance for economic development projects deemed worthy. And Corbeil said the Hampton Inn and Suites, on Seneca’s E. N. 1st Street, will represent a $10 million investment. The county is involved with the city of Seneca in what is a public-private partnership with developer Sanjay Desai of Pickens County. The E.N. 1st area is part of a corridor that Seneca is improving, as a way to give economic and aesthetic improvements to a major artery to the downtown. Thirty-eight jobs are being created.