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Changes At Bel-Aire Motel Will Take Time

Updated: Wednesday, July 30 2014, 12:19 AM CDT
SPRINGFIELD -- All aldermen agreed Tuesday night, something needs to be done about the Bel-Aire Motel. Health concerns and public safety continue to be their main reasons.

Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow calls the hotel a waste of police resources. He says police received more than 600 calls in the last 16 months. That averages out to about one call per day.
Alderman Cory Jobe is behind the latest push to shut down the Bel-Aire. He wanted the property condemned earlier this month, under the city's "chronic nuisance ordinance."

Now, it appears action at the motel could take time. Interpretation of the ordinance is different among aldermen and the city attorney.

"Most of us interrupt that law is we can shut down that whole building if we find 3 problem offenses in a 12 month period and he is saying we have to find 3 for each of the 81 rooms and shut down each room at a time and that is absurd," said Alderman Joe McMenamin

Alderman McMenamin is referring to the interpretation by City Attorney Todd Greenburg.

Mcmenamin says he visited the Bel-Aire this past weekend and says it's one-third empty and action should be taken soon.

Alderman Jobe made it clear once again Tuesday night he does not want the people living at the motel to end up on the streets. He says he's currently working with the Springfield Housing Authority to find alternative housing.

The discussion about the Bel-Aire will continue at the next council meeting, set for August 6th.Changes At Bel-Aire Motel Will Take Time

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