Lake Country officials insist they had no choice but to take action against a local hotel.
On Tuesday, council voted unanimously not to renew the business licence for the Airport Inn Lakeside on Highway 97 and Petrie Road.
“It’s an unfortunate situation but when you look at visitor and employee safety, it’s the only decision we could make,” said Coun. Owen Dickie.
Council’s actions came after receiving a staff report.
“It is primarily on the grounds of public health and safety that staff are recommending that the business licence not be renewed in 2017,” said Jamie McEwan, community development manager, in the report.
Some of the issues include water-logged floors, electrical problems and mold.
“Secondary issues include frequent and recurring fire inspection and RCMP issues with the property/business,” said McEwan, adding that between April 1, 2009 and Nov. 25, 2016 there were 162 calls for service at the hotel.
Over the years there have been 37 calls for crimes against an individual, 26 for property crime, three for drugs, 25 for other criminal code violations and 71 for provincial or federal statute files.
“It’s a question of whether it’s safe for consumers to use. A number of conditions have been found that, quite simply, are not safe,” said Dickie, adding that the district must ensure all businesses follow building codes.
The owner of the Airport Inn Lakeside vows to fight council’s decision.
“I will take them to court,” said Raif Fleihan, who challenges the district’s claims of building deficiencies.
“The building I don’t use I don’t want to spend money on. I don’t use that building.”
Fleihan also says that the district has negatively impacted his business and hasn’t improved water quality.
“They promised and never delivered. Every year I have to change all of the (plumbing) fixtures),” he said.
Mayor James Baker insists any outstanding building deficiencies will have to be fixed before a business licence is issued.
“It’s somewhat derelict in some areas. it’s an issue of safety,” said Baker.
“Hopefully he will get done what needs to be done and can operate again.”