CONCORD, N.H. — A state Senate committee on Wednesday recommended more study of a bill to provide a state-backed $28 million bond to help redevelop a storied North Country hotel, dealing a potential setback to the project’s backers.

Last week, Les Otten, the Maine businessesman and former gubernatorial candidate seeking to turn the shuttered Balsams resort into a world-class, four-season destination, told a gathering in Dixville Notch that his plan was contingent upon getting the state-backed bond. With the money in hand, he said, construction on the $143 million first phase of the project could begin in June.

On Wednesday, the Senate Public and Municipal Affairs Committee voted 5-0 to send the bill to study. If the full Senate agrees with the committee, the bill would be on hold for the rest of this legislative session but could come back next year.

Senators raised concerns about state taxpayers being on the hook for a private business’s loan.

The Balsams, where the nation’s first presidential primary ballots are traditionally cast, closed in 2010 after about 150 years in business and took with it hundreds of jobs in the North Country region that has struggled to create or keep jobs. Otten’s plan would renovate existing buildings, build a 400-room hotel, conference center, spa and retreat. It would also expand the ski area around the inn. Some 1,700 jobs could ultimately be created, according to a study commissioned by the developer. The full project, with an estimated cost of more than $320 million, would be finished by 2024.

A spokesman for the project said Wednesday that the committee vote was not a setback and that Otten still expects to begin construction in June.

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