The City of Oneonta will be taking the owners of the Oneonta Hotel to court looking to evict the tenants. Oneonta Hotel Owner Melania Pervu welcomes the opportunity claiming they have all the documentation proving they’ve complied with all codes violations.
"I’m so happy that they will go to court at least because we have all the documents with all the updates, and I just wait for the judge to see."
8th Ward Councilman Joe Ficano said the city had no choice but to take the owners to court to avoid liability, and that the city has given them ample time to fix violations.
"We’ve been assured that we’ve given them every reasonable chance to rectify the problems and it was decided that the goal is either too far away for us to continue to put residents at risk."
The residents I spoke to don’t feel like they’re at risk at all. In fact, Oneonta Hotel Resident John Lockwood feels the city has been working to acquire the building for downtown revitalization.
"I think they have their eyes on it. They have their eyes on it and they want it. And they’re going to try every which way to get it, and I feel like those letters that weren’t signed, things like that are scare tactics to get people out. You know, it’s getting people out so then our landlords don’t have any money and they have no choice but to sell the building."
Councilman Joe Ficano says "Those two things have nothing to do with each other. I mean there is a downtown revitalization movement, but it is completely unrelated and irrelevant to what’s going on with this building."
The city has had to take other property owners to court for codes violations. For instance, a house on Spruce Street was declared unsafe, and a number of tenants had to be evicted. Councilman Ficano said the city is not interested in acquiring the Hotel and the owners are welcome to continue business once code violations are completed.
"They are free to do the work needed to meet code requirements, and then repopulate the building. I mean that’s an option they have before them."
As of now there is no court date set, but NEWSChannel 2 will keep you updated on this story.