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Hearing Officer Tours Bel-Aire

Updated: Thursday, August 28 2014, 05:49 PM CDT

Meeting at the Bel-Aire Motel Wednesday afternoon, the hearing officer for the city administrative court case against the motel got a walk though tour.

"The hearing officer wanted to walk the property," said the motel's attorney, Randy Segatto, "and see the conditions of the property so that he can relate the condition of the property to the testimony he's hearing."

The motel faces about 1,300 separate violations - the city doesn't have an exact number - which could each cost between $300 and $750 dollars per day. That's a lot of money for a motel that has already racked up about $114,000 of fines already

READ ALSO: New Proposal to Shut Down Motel

"We ultimately want to see it beautified, cleaned up, meet code, have a safe environment for people to live in," said Krista Appenzeller, one of the city's attorneys on the case.

At last week's hearing, owner Gopan Motwani told us he is still trying to sell the property.

"And there's two good buyers, and they were approaching the city, and if the city would accept the proposal, I think we could resolve this yesterday."

But at last check. that was the first city attorneys had heard of a potential buyer.

The administrative court process doesn't look like it will be over anytime soon though. The violations aren't all lumped together in one case, but instead are broken up by individual rooms And another for the common areas for a total of 75 separate cases.

The hearings started last week, and only one of the cases was finished.

So are we going to have 74 more hearings?

"More than likely," says Segatto.

"I think it's just lengthy in presenting all the evidence, letting each side have their evidence presented," Appenzeller said.

While the city is pursuing this route, aldermen have also tried to shut the Bel-Aire down by urging Springfield Police to begin chronic nuisance proceedings.

READ ALSO: Springfield Alderman Wants Bel-Aire Motel Condemned

City spokesman Nathan Mihelich said police are still preparing that case.

Hearing Officer Tours Bel-Aire


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