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Some motel violations fixed

case still open

February 14, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN

andrews@herald-mail.com

The owners of the Holiday Motel in Hagerstown have fixed various violations, but extensive problems in the building remain, authorities said.

On Oct. 27, 2005, city and county officials allegedly found numerous violations of vermin, mold, heating, lighting and ventilation during a surprise inspection of the motel.

In a Nov. 1 report, Hagerstown's Office of Code Compliance ordered property owners Leela B. Patel and Babubhai Patel not to rent any vacant motel rooms or apartments.

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The report lists 35 rooms in the motel, including an office. The report says that, at the time, eight were vacant and seven were occupied; the status of the others was not given.

The report also says 12 of 15 apartments must stay closed at the building at the corner of West Washington and North Prospect streets.

The Washington County Health Department reinspected the building Feb. 3 at the owners' request.

Excessive mold and mildew had been fixed, Theodore J. Gordon, the health department's director of environmental health, said last week.

Gordon said the owners recarpeted rooms, painted walls and repaired leaks to help bring the building into compliance.

The health department's first reinspection of the building was Jan. 9.

In a report dated Jan. 12, the health department reported that problems with vermin, plumbing, tiles, heating and fans had been corrected.

The health department gave the Patels 15 business days after Jan. 12 to fix mold problems that remained in five motel rooms.

Gordon said last week that the owners called the health department just before the deadline and reported that they were ready for the building to be inspected again.

The city has yet to give the motel a clean bill of health.

City inspectors allegedly found a slew of violations during the Oct. 27 inspection, including filthy floors, leaking faucets, broken headboards, missing light fixtures, "major condensation" and "unknown growth" on walls, carpets and ceiling tiles.

In the Nov. 1 report, the city imposed a 30-day deadline for the Patels to fix the violations in the motel rooms. No deadline was listed for fixing problems in the apartments.

John Lestitian, Hagerstown's chief code enforcement officer, said Monday in a phone message that the case is still open.

Messages left for Babubhai Patel and his attorney, Andrew Wilkinson, were not returned Monday.

- Staff writer Pepper Ballard contributed to this story

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