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Auburn motel condemned for lack of heat, hot water

The city of Auburn has condemned the Grant Motel due to code violations, including a lack of safe heating and hot water.

The motel, located at 255 Grant Ave., was condemned by the city Code Enforcement Office on Monday, January 31, according to The Citizen. The city received complaints about the lack of heat and hot water on the premises last week.

Grant Motel had been one of the housing options through the Cayuga County Department of Social Services (DSS) for those facing homelessness. The DSS said 12 people living on the premises had their rooms paid for by the department The county has provided alternative housing options for those displaced by Monday’s condemnation. About 17 people were displaced in total.

City Manager Jeff Dygert said portable space heaters were being used in rooms. Using space heaters as a primary source of heat is a code violation due to it being a fire hazard. Beyond heat and hot water issues, Dygert said there were numerous other code violations uncovered.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

County property records list Chandrika Patel as the motel’s owner. Patel owes $47,121 in property back taxes going back to 2018.

In 2021, Auburn Police Department was dispatched to the property 74 times, and the Auburn Fire Department was called 31 times. In 2020, there were 54 police and 28 fire calls. So far in 2022, the police had visited the motel eight times and the fire department had done so twice.

Some residents have refused to leave the premises. Auburn Assistant Corporation Counsel is hoping to show cause in state Supreme Court to get the building vacated.