Sep 23, 2016
"The physical structure is only part of the problem; this has become a hot spot in Eureka for crime and disorder"; Budget motel is being boarded up room by room
"The physical structure is only part of the problem; this has become a hot spot in Eureka for crime and disorder," said EPD Captain Steve Watson. Not all, but a number of people who are living at the Budget are the problem, said Captain Watson.
"We are just standing by to make sure things go peacefully," said EPD Captain Brian Stephens.
Other agencies on scene included City Code Enforcement Program Manager Brian Issa, several EPD officers including Drake Goodale, DHHS Director Connie Beck and DHHS staff like Terence McNally who were at the Budget Motel helping their clients and talking to others.
Humboldt Bay Fire Chief Bill Gillespie left around 9:30 a.m.
Currently, the Budget Motel is being boarded up room by room by employees of New Life Service Company. The very last photo shows the building on the right, which had the most long term tenants. That building will be the last to be boarded up. While the City and EPD are giving residents time to pack up their belongings, the entire property will be boarded and fenced up today, said Mr. Issa and Captain Watson.
Mr. Issa said that the vacant rooms are being boarded up first. I asked him about the possibility of bed bugs being transported to other areas and buildings.
"This location is a revolving door between the homeless camps and other places like the Pine Motel, and there are already complaints of bed bugs there," but he did acknowledge that this could be a potential issue.
Once the property is boarded up and fenced, the City will send a letter to the owner, said Mr.Issa.
The owner will be given a timeline to get a demolition permit or make plans to get a licensed engineer, plumber and completely rehab the property. Pointing to melted light fixtures that had just been painted over and were visible from outside, "this is what their idea of fixing things" looks like.
Captain Watson said that if someone is unable to pack up all their belongings, while the room will still be boarded up today, discussions and arrangements are being made for "a one time opportunity" to come back for belongings.
Tenants were chatting with EPD and other agencies and there was no tension and no problems, so far.
Not all Budget Motels tenants are the same. Visiting Angel's Director Jeanne O'Neal was at the scene, personally checking on a client who she said is one of her best, always pays on time, she is disabled and Ms. O'Neale came to check and make sure she had a place to stay and se if she needed help.
In fact, there were rooms, rare but rooms that were immaculate and clean belonging to some tenants.