Budget Inn Owner Has Plans For Improvement
Rish Patel, owner of the Budget Inn, located on Third Street in New Martinsville, wants the public to understand that he has full intentions to renovate the property and make it “good enough for customers to enjoy staying here.”
Patel spoke to the Wetzel Chronicle Tuesday morning after some photos have appeared online showing some rather unseemly conditions at the inn, including stained mattresses, a stained toilet, and an air conditioner with what appeared to be black mold covering it. These photos were taken after six double rooms were booked for employees of an oilfield service company. After checking in to the inn, the employees called their main office to let them know they would not be staying at the inn. After seeing the photos, their employer agreed and told the employees to check out, get a refund, and go home.
Karen Cain, assistant administrator of the Wetzel-Tyler Health Department, stated that her facility had encountered “no issues” with the Budget Inn. “When we go into these areas, there are only certain things we are allowed to check for,” she noted. “We don’t tear air conditioner parts apart.”
Cain stated that the health department looks for bed bugs, roaches and other pests, along with “how well the rooms are maintained and clean” and the “temperature of water and stuff like that.”
“People want to complain about them,” she said of the inn, adding, “but as long as these oil and gas people are in there patronizing them, they are full.”
Cain stated the last time the Budget Inn was inspected was April 2013. She said there was a complaint that was investigated on Aug. 7, but no issues were found. Cain also stated that there is no law to govern mold in the state of West Virginia, adding that not all black mold is hazardous.
Legislative-wise, the rules and regulations for a hotel in the state of West Virginia can be accessed in Chapter 16, Article Six of West Virginia Code. Code 16-6-8 states that the “director of health shall inspect or cause to be inspected, at least once annually, every hotel and restaurant in the state . . .” Furthermore, it is stated that the inspector or any person designated by him, shall have the right of entry and access “at any reasonable time to inspect kitchens where food is prepared . . . every place where articles pertaining to the serving of the public are kept or prepared . . . The said director shall prohibit the use of any article not in keeping with cleanliness and good sanitary conditions. He shall also have the right to enter any and all parts of a hotel at all reasonable hours to make such inspection, and every person in the management or control thereof shall afford free access to every part of the hotel and render all assistance necessary to enable the director to make full, thorough, and complete examination thereof, but the privacy of any guest in any room occupied by him shall not be invaded without his consent.”
State code states that upon inspection, if it is found that the hotel is not operating under conditions required by the provisions in the article, that the health director shall notify the owner, manager, or agent in charge of the hotel of such. “Such owner, manager, or agent shall thereupon make such alterations or changes as many be necessary to put such buildings and premises in a condition, and operate it in a manner, that will fully comply with the requirements of this article.” If the changes aren’t made in a timely manner, code states that the director can proceed against the owner/manager/agent in court. “Every person, firm, or corporation which shall fail or refuse to comply with the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, thereof, shall be fined five dollars for each and every day such failure or refusal may continue.”
West Virginia Code has several guidelines that hotels are required to follow, including guidelines for the following: lighting, plumbing and ventilation; water closets; toilets; restrooms; beds and bed bugs; hallways; fire escapes, and fire extinguishers.
Specifically, of toilets, referred to as “privies” in code, 16-6-13 states that ” . . . privies and vaults shall be kept clean and well-screened at all times and free from filth of every kind . . .” Furthermore, 16-6-15, titled Beds and Floor Coverings, states that “All bedding, including mattresses, quilts, blankets, pillows, and all carpets and floor covering used in any hotel in this state, shall be thoroughly aired, disinfected, and kept clean.”
According to 16-2-1, local boards of health, “created, established, and operated pursuant to the provisions of this article, are responsible for directing, supervising, and carrying out matters relating to the public health of their respective counties or municipalities . . .”
Wetzel-Tyler Health Department also has a link to this state code for Public Health on their website at wetzeltylerhealthdepartment.com/
Patel reported to the Chronicle that he took over the Budget Inn property a month-and-a-half ago. Patel said he’s been “slowly taking all the bad things out and putting in brand new air conditioners and refrigerators.” He added, “A property this size takes time. It all costs money. It was hard enough to purchase the property. It’s slowly coming into renovations.”
“It’ll be a very good property,” he said. “If you have any problems, I’ll address it immediately. If I was told that there was an issue, I would’ve immediately taken out the air conditioners.”
“This is not the way I run any of the businesses,” he stated.
If interested in more West Virginia Code on public health or public health on hotels, restaurants, or other establishments, research www.legis.state.wv.us