The city is asking owners of the closed Slumber Lodge Motel in Williams Lake to secure the building after receiving complaints that unauthorized persons have been occupying the building.

The city is asking owners of the closed Slumber Lodge Motel in Williams Lake to secure the building after receiving complaints that unauthorized persons have been occupying the building.

Unwelcome guests squat at motel in Williams Lake

Owners of a closed motel in Williams Lake are being asked by the city to do some remedial work by July 12.

Owners of a closed motel in Williams Lake’s downtown are being asked by the city to do some remedial work by July 12 because the site is unsafe and poses a hazard.

At its Tuesday meeting, council heard the city continues to receive several complaints about unauthorized person(s) occupying the Slumber Lodge Motel, which is located near Oliver Street and Seventh Avenue south.

Options for the owners include beefing up security to prevent entry by unauthorized people or hiring the services of a security company to provide security 24/7.

If the city does not hear back from the owner by June 25 of this year, the city will carry out remedial action itself at the owner’s expense.

Mayor Kerry Cook says the RCMP has received several complaints and, on May 23, 2002, the Williams Lake Fire Department issued a BC Fire Code order for the owners to comply with certain provisions that have not been remedied.

“The RCMP and Citizens on Patrol are doing regular patrols of this area,” Cook says, adding there’s a high risk for death and serious injury.

Williams Lake RCMP Insp. Warren Brown says some people use the Slumber Lodge to drink and/or sleep in.

“They have no permission to do this; however, the central location, the lack of security, and accessibility make it a welcome place, not to mention there is no rent. There is still electricity to the building so this offers an added bonus to the ‘squatter.’”

The RCMP is concerned that due to the high-risk behaviour that occurs in the suites, there is a high potential for a fire or some other looming accident that could cause risk to human life/safety.

“The city has been very co-operative and is taking steps to remedy our concerns,” Brown says.

Acting chief administrative officer Geoff Goodall says the city has been dealing with the issue over the last month and the activities are a real concern.

“The remedial action that we’ve presented here is the quickest option for us to get some security to that building,” Goodall says.

Coun. Surinderpal Rathor asked who would be responsible if something were to happen within the next few weeks before the notice for remediation goes out.

Goodall says the option is the fastest, legal way the city can get authorization to go in and do something if it has to.

The Tribune visited the site after Tuesday evening’s council meeting and met with the owners. However, they declined to comment on the issue.