NIAGARA FALLS, NY (WBKW) - Democrat John Fruscione, member of the Niagara Falls City Council and chief opponent of a multi-million dollar hotel project, lost the Democratic Primary for his seat on Tuesday night.
Mayor Paul Dyster believes it clears the way for the council to finally approve the Hamister Group's hotel at 310 Rainbow Boulevard.
"The clock has been ticking on this for some time now," Dyster said. "And what we're trying to do now is to find a third vote to be able to move this forward."
The project hit a snag when Fruscione's majority on the council refused to approve the land transfer. Hamister offered $100,000 for the property, but the council wanted more.
"We are the final decision makers - we're not just a rubber stamp for whatever you stick in front of us," Fruscione told Eyewitness News in August. "We just want everybody to know, we're not anti-business. We're just looking out for all the taxpayers."
But voters rejected Fruscione's attempt at another term on the council, a message that Mayor Dyster said is, in part, connected to Fruscione's resistance to approve the hotel deal and the hundreds of construction and permanent jobs that come with it.
The big question now is will Fruscione change his vote when the council meets on Monday? The embattled lawmaker said everyone will have to wait until Monday to find out.