Owners of the Oneonta Hotel and the Oneonta City attorney are in court to settle alleged codes violations, and possible evictions for the residents who live there. City of Oneonta’s Attorney David Merzig claims there are codes violations at the Oneonta Hotel that are putting the residents at risk, so the city is seeking to evict everyone living there. Around 40 apartments from the 2nd through 5th floors would be affected. The City’s attorney says this trial really boils down to a codes enforcement proceeding.
"Mr. Pervu would do whatever repairs he felt were appropriate. They would hire people who would go in and work. They have never, ever asked for a building permit from the City of Oneonta. That’s something that continues to this day."
The hotel owner’s attorney Ryan Donovan claims the building permit was never in question, and the owners have paperwork to dispute the City’s claim that the residents are at risk.
"Certified outside vendors for the fire extinguishers and the fire alarms and the sprinklers. (Judge Coccoma: And they would have issued some type of certificate or inspection) and we have their affidavits including our supporting papers."
The City’s attorney argued that the City needs to be involved in the process in order for the codes violations to be completed to City standards.
"There’s a process that needs to be go through to make sure that the work is done by licensed people. It’s done properly with certified inspections, and that’s done through engineering plans, through applications for building permits, for inspections by the city, for review by the city. That has never, ever been done. We’re at the end of our rope."
Hotel Owner Melania Pervu and her husband say they are also at the end of their rope, claiming the City officials are corrupt. Attorney Ryan Donovan explained why.
"They have poured tens of thousands of dollars into this building to try to bring it to an appropriate level so people can live there.
The City has a pattern of harassment. As soon as they fix one thing, oh by the way there’s a report from 1992, 20 years before you owned it that you didn’t deal with. There’s a report from 1999 that was not dealt with and you need to deal with. These things come up piece meal, and it appears obviously that the City would prefer that the Pervu’s didn’t own this building."
Both parties will be back in court on September 4th for an arbitration hearing before proceeding to trial on the codes violations.
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