BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Boardman Township trustees voted unanimously to begin the process of closing and eventually demolishing Wagon Wheel Motel on Market Street.
There is an appeal process, so the owners could still save it. However, if the appeal fails, the plan is to have the building gone sometime in the fall.
In deciding that the motel should be condemned and demolished, Fire Chief Mark Pitzer pointed to the deteriorating roof as one reason why — but that wasn’t the only reason.
“Some support beams missing, so on and so forth. Some open electrical issues within the structure,” he said.
According to inspection documents, there are also mold concerns, water damage and no working fire alarm or sprinkler system.
Investigators said because of the building’s condition, they’re worried it could collapse.
That’s why at Monday evening’s trustees meeting, Pitzer asked that the Wagon Wheel be declared a nuisance. The trustees agreed.
“Our fire department also, through inspections, found that it was just unsuitable for anyone to be in that building,” trustee Larry Moliterno said.
The owners of Wagon Wheel now have 30 days to appeal the trustees’ decision. If the appeal is denied, Pitzer said he’ll order the motel be closed by mid-June, have it boarded up and tear it down sometime this fall.
“It poses a safety issue for people who reside there or stay there, the public and the firefighters in the event of an emergency there,” Pitzer said.
He said there have been issues at Wagon Wheel for “quite some time.”
“We have not had any cooperation with the owners. We’ve had several inspections that were done, have cited them several times for not being in compliance with a number of things.”
On March 28, Pitzer and the state fire marshal inspected the building. They gave the owners until May 3 to get the job done but when inspectors went back, the problems hadn’t been fixed — they had gotten worse.
“We have to take into consideration the safety of the people who are going to be in that building, but also the safety of the fire department and our police department,” Moliterno said. “If they go in, to have a call to go into that building, then we’re putting their lives at risk and we’re not going to do that.”
No one from Wagon Wheel was at the meeting.
We called them and the person who answered the phone said, “They just can’t close this place down,” then hung up.
The appeal hearing has been tentatively set for May 28 at 5 p.m.