Oneonta, N.Y. - There is a huge building along Main St. in Oneonta that has massive beautiful pillars. It's the former Oneonta Hotel that was built in 1910 after the original Oneonta Hotel was destroyed by fire.
Several years ago the building was divided into two separate properties. The section of the building on the left that spans the length of the first three windows is 189 Main St., which houses several businesses on all three floors, and the rest of the building is 195 Main St.. 195 Main St. houses businesses on the first floor and 45 rental apartments on the upper floors and it's this larger section of the building that's currently an issue in the city.
Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig says 195 Main St. is currently facing a number of codes violations and has given the owners an ultimatum, make the necessary fixes within 6 months or their tenants will be evicted, "Our Board of Public Service, after receiving a report from the code enforcement office declared the building unsafe based upon the many violations that were found in the building, a lot of them electrical. And the board's decision was looking out for protecting the lives and safety of those living in the building and surrounding are. Based upon that, the city is going to work with the owners, we recognize that they have not been able, either unwilling or unable, to keep the building up to code. We want to work with them but we have to give them a deadline. We're going to give them a six-month deadline. At the end of that time we will take action to evict the tenants of the building for their safety."
The owners of the building, Nicolae and Melania Pervu, say they believe their building is in compliance with all codes and they are not sure what the city is talking about, so they will be going to City Hall on Monday to find out what the issues are.
Nicolae Pervu says he escaped capture from communists in his native country of Romania in the 1970's and ended up here in the United States. He says ever since, he and his wife Melania have made a nice life for themselves, they call it 'The American Dream'.
Nicolae Pervu first settled in the U.S. in New York City where he was a cab driver for many years. He and his wife moved upstate in 1994 to become farmers, buying a farm north of Oneonta.
Two years ago they sold that farm and bought the larger portion of the former Oneonta Hotel, known as 195 Main St. for $500,000 and they say they have made the necessary upgrades to get the building code compliant after Nicolae Pervu says the previous owner neglected it, "We take over, previous owner he have problems because he doesn't maintain everything up to code. We take over, we fix everything, we come, nothing wrong, absolutely nothing."
The Pervu's say this venture is their livelihood, and they say they wouldn't jeopardize their livelihood by not fixing things so again, they are going to be going to City Hall on Monday to try to find out what the alleged issues are.