Hotel condemnation brings attention to troubled area

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – For the second day in a row, inspectors took a look at Country Hearth Inn on Goshen Road Friday.

Allen County Board of Health workers took their turn looking at the building after Allen County Building Department inspectors condemned the business due to electrical and other issues Thursday.

The incident is bring attention to other issues that have plagued similar nearby businesses.

“We’re getting way too many calls in some of these areas,” Fort Wayne Councilman Tom Didier said. “We have to take a better approach at what we’re doing here.”

Didier’s district includes the intersection of Goshen Road and West Coliseum Blvd. He acknowledges that police keep busy with incidents at or near the businesses in the area. He says many people in his district, including neighborhood association presidents have voiced their concerns.

“We were trying to do a nuisance ordinance, in regards to some of these particular establishments, because they’re causing such an issue with crime,” Didier added.

Crime is not the only issue, as evidenced this week. The quality of life is low at places like Country Hearth, requiring the building and health departments to step in.

“The quaility of what they’re living in needs to be upgraded in some way, shape or form,” Didier said.

The people at the health department are working to let residents know what the quality of hotels in our area is like, using a grading system.

At last check, in 2016, Country Hearth received a “B”  grade. That may change after Friday’s inspection.

“I believe at that point in time, there weren’t many of those high point value items to take off,” Director of Vector Control and Environmental Services David Fiess said. “There were some non-critical issues, but not enough to push them down to that “C” and “F” range.”

The Lodging Grading system has been an effective plan for the board of health, since it was established in 2014, but resident and customer complaints also help the inspection process.

“Then yes, we’ll make an effort to go out there and do another inspection,” Feiss added.