City officials pay thousands to fix former motel | News
MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WZZM) - Muskegon Heights City officials are trying to put new life into a former motel, which they say has been a hot spot for illegal activities. Last month, the city took control of the property on Hoyt Avenue and is now spending thousands of dollars in hopes that someone will buy it.
Gerrit Veldman with the nearby American Legion has seen the former motel switch hands many times, most recently as the Mona Lake Inn.
"It was a great Holiday Inn at one time," says Veldman.
Veldman says the sight of the rundown property is hard to swallow.
"People seem to enjoy smashing the windows out, I don't know why that is," says Veldman.
City officials say the property has become a spot for illegal activity and a safety hazard.
"There have been complaints of vagrants living in the building. We also had a small fire in the building a couple weeks ago," says Christopher Dean, Interim Fire Chief for the Muskegon Heights Fire Department.
Last month, the city took control of the building and received $50,000 from the former owner in a court settlement. The city is using that money for upkeep on the property and to board it up.
"With regular police patrols, we'll be able to detect when someone's in the building because the boards would have to be removed," says Dean.
City officials say it would cost at least three times as much to demolish the property. By repairing it instead, they hope to get it back on the market.
"The property is on the main thoroughfare into Muskegon, Muskegon heights, and Norton shores," says Dean.
"In its present state, it's not doing us any good, and not doing anyone else any good," says Veldman.
City officials say despite its image, the building is structurally sound.