Town officials argue that a Central Avenue motel is in such poor condition that they aim to shut it down.
“When I tell you it’s disgusting, I mean it is disgusting. You would not go in there to save your life,” said town attorney Michael Maggiulli, at the Thursday, Dec. 19, Town Board meeting, where he discussed what he saw during an inspection of the Skylane Motel.
Maggiulli executed a search warrant Monday, Dec. 16, to check on the living conditions at the motel. According to Maggiulli, a man fell through the floor injuring his foot or leg earlier this month.
The owner of the hotel, Alex Patel, also owns other hotels and businesses in the area. The Albany County Department of Social Services pays for much of the rent for many of the residents that live there.
Maggiulli was at the Dec. 16 inspection and described some of the living conditions he witnessed.
“A woman had no heat for a month and a half, and that’s just amount of time she didn’t pay the rent,” said Maggiulli.
The motel, which has just over 30 rooms, had 24 individuals staying there, one of which was a registered sex-offender. Maggiulli said there were no families living there at the time, but there have been in the past.
The police provided forensic detectives and pictures were taken of every room and all the violations were documented. Magiulli said he is putting together a proceeding to close down the Skylane and get everyone out of there until the place is brought up to code.
“It was obvious to me, this guy Patel hadn’t put a dime into the place in years,” said Magiulli. “The electrical engineer was afraid to go in the mechanical room. He was afraid of being electrocuted.”
There is a provision of the New York State Building Code, which would allow the building to be shut down if a judge sees enough evidence to prove that it is uninhabitable.
Maggiulli said he hopes to close the motel as soon as possible, and the town would like to work with Albany County to find a place with better living conditions for the current residents.