Ten tenants, all of which are on Social Services, have been asked to leave the former Oneonta Hotel. The City sent a letter stating the building is unsafe for occupancy, and if the residents didn’t leave on their own, the City would have them legally removed. That action came from the Law Department at City Hall.
Back in November the City gave the owners six months to get the building up to code. Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig had this to say about the building six months ago:
"Our Board of Public Service, after receiving a report from the Code Enforcement Office, declared the building unsafe based upon the many violations that are found in the building. A lot of them electrical."
Hotel Owner Nicolae Pervu says the City has overstepped the court process and is acting out of order.
"They have no right to do that because only the court they can do. After the court they decide what is wrong, the City have the right to apply what the court say. The City’s not court."
Nicolae Pervu believes the City is looking to take possession of the building for downtown revitalization.
"Yea revitalization. So they want to rebuild. Do lots of things, so they think it’s good to belong to the City than be private."
He thinks the City is working systematically to first remove all the 'undesirable' people from the downtown area, and they’re working to shut him down with codes violations.
"The city want to get the building, so who knows. We think it’s something because they put too much pressure. What is…there’s no reason to put…. We have everything. I’ll show you the paper."
The owners say there’s no code violations and have plenty of documentation to back it up.
"They come 5 times to check. 5 times. First floor, 2nd floor, 3rd, 4th, they say the alarm that don’t stay good here put over there. I put over there he comes 2nd time says no good over there put there. They play game."
Pervu says a licensed electrician had inspected the building and gave a written report clearing them of any codes violations, but he also has a licensed contractor coming on Wednesday to fix some minor repairs. City officials were unavailable for comment.