The former Oneonta Hotel was declared “unsafe” by City Hall in late 2017. A recent inspection found that enough violations still exist that the city wants County Judge John Lambert to enforce the Order to Vacate put in place at that time. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to


ONEONTA – Citing missing kitchen appliances, holes in the ceiling and a blocked sprinkler system, among nearly a dozen pages of code violations, the City will argue that Melania Pervu, owner of the former Oneonta Hotel at 195 Main St., has failed to remedy the unsafe conditions of her building, as ordered by County Judge John Lambert last September.

“There are still considerable violations,” said Mayor Gary Herzig. “We have an obligation to make sure everybody in the city lives in a building deemed safe.”

With the court-imposed deadline of Jan. 11 passed, Judge John F. Lambert has requested a meeting with the city and Pervu at 10 a.m Friday, Jan. 25. “We will present the fact that our inspection shows outstanding violations,” said Herzig. “We took a number of photographs to demonstrate our concern.”

According to the report, in one apartment the shower was fixed with duct tape. In five others, inspectors noted that there were no cooking appliances and, in some cases, no refrigerators or kitchen sinks. The elevator had no inspection certificate, the floors were deemed “non-compliant” and sink waste and grease trap lines in the basement of Tiger Asian Cuisine were improperly installed.

Among the most grievous violations, Herzig said, were the non-compliant suspended ceiling tiles, which blocked the building’s sprinkler system.

“We are concerned for the safety of the people living there, the people next door and of our first responders if, God forbid, there was a fire in that building,” he said.

Though the building was ordered vacated, tenants still remain in the building, and Pervu has continued to advertise apartments for rent. Herzig indicated that he hoped the court would enforce the Order to Vacate.

Judge Lambert could also find Pervu in contempt of court for failing to comply with the court order to fix the property.


  1. Janice Hinkley

    Enough of this crap
    I know you do not want more homeless in Oneonta but this is too much
    Shut it down before someone is injured
    They have had more then enough time to fix this.

  2. Anonymous

    I used tonlive thier five years ago. It was a crap hole then and nothing has changed. Its a shame to cuz back in history that was the pride and joy of Oneonta.

  3. Lionetti

    Sorry, no grant money, for someone who is irresponsible.
    Where was the fire inspector years ago when the violations occurred? The county requires fire inspectons every year on rental properties. If anything the Town of Oneonta should be more stringent.

  4. Janet Armour

    For Safety sake, shut ot down
    You meed to think about health and humanity. If 1 persons injured or worse, it’s on your shoulders for not doing something .

  5. Concerned citizen

    #4 The Hotel is in the city. This is clearly a safety issue and needs to be dealt with. There should be no more delays.
    On another note, I find it very interesting that the mayor and the City are being very pro active now due to safety concerns but continually look the other way when it comes to the drug dealing and use in the city. When does the city intend to do something about the those who sell and blantly use drugs in our center city?

  6. Oneonta Native

    Looks like the former owner sold at the right time. He must of had preferential treatment as its been in violation for many many years.
    The new owner should have made the caveat that the building needed to be up to code before the sale was made?

  7. Melania Pervu

    Hello everyone, let me tell you the my side of the story because you need to hear both sides! I copied and pasted my answer to the judge , the letter contains pictures, didn’t came out.This property was inspected every year, all system work and are updated. The problem is not “violations”, the problem is that the corrupted city administration wants the property and use the power to destroy me and my business like they were trying with success or without success many times, you have to be smart and “read between lines” to understand. Corruption is at high level, but the justice will prevail ! God is with me and my tenants!
    “To Honorable Judge J. Lambert, Supreme Court of Otsego County, NY
    Pervu Answer to Housing Report of 195-201 main street, Oneonta Hotel
    With respect and consideration, I, Melania Pervu, the owner of the property located at 195-201 Main Street, Oneonta, NY 13820 respond today to the reinspection report done in January 15, 2019. I’m completely unsatisfied with the way the city of Oneonta Code Enforcement Office represented by Stephen Yerly and John Hester were conducted the inspection on January 09, 2019 and the reinspection on January 15, 2019 because it showed lock of respect for me, my tenants , my witnesses, my property, poor professional skills (jumping on floors, aggressive pulling every window curtains to look out, both going in different directions, not prepared with good cameras, taking pictures of people without permission and not the place-see the pictures that are attached to the city report). It shows that they never wanted and never intended to work with me and that it makes very difficult actual and future communication between us. City of Oneonta represents us, the people, and suppose to work with people and for people, not happen in Oneonta and that’s not new but old and I think is time to think about that is unacceptable and illegal. This country was built by our fathers with challenging work, love for the country, love for God, love for the truth! I’m Proud to be an American (since 2000 by naturalization) and I’ll always stand up for Justice, Respect, and Love for the Country, our Flag, God!
    Diane Tisserand Manino, Ken William, and William Meyer were present with me on both days during the inspections. My property was updated since 2015, inspections were done every year and presented to the code enforcement office. First at all new alarm system was installed, in the same time all sprinkler heads were replaced, inspection inside the pipes and outside done, fire extinguishers replaced with new ones, new boiler installed, inspections done by Department of Labor in time. No help ever received from the city of other governmental agency, but with the income received from rental of apartments, apartments rented to low income people who work in the city and love to live in my property. Just because my status and my political orientation, all my arduous work and success on updating the property are not welcome and appreciated by the city administration and is sad. Instead of working to improve and revitalize the main street properties, the city is trying by their action to destroy everyone who try hard to survive, I’m a victim of discrimination and abuse of power. Nobody is above the law and I know that justice will prevail. I’ll write down and insert pictures to show the job done and the conditions of my property. Old carpet was removed, and we found the original hardwood floor that was in excellent condition, new floor was installed correctly by professional worker. Commercial tiles and laminate floor were installed on three floors and many apartments. Two other hallways are still with carpet, used but in good condition, pictures will show it.

    Apartment 2 B, new commercial tiles installed in the kitchen and bathroom, new laminate installed in living room and both bedrooms. The electric panel located on the back is serving both of the apartments 2a and 2b.

    Apartment 2 A, the hole in the back of the toilet was repaired yesterday, Jan. 21, 2019

    ap. 2A bathroom

    original hardwood floor, 4 inches long nails
    Apartment 424, s trap removed and new installed, see Master plumber letter
    Apartment 403 was checked, no water dripping sink found, everything was dry, no sign of dripping. Smoking alarms installed in all bedrooms and on hallways close to bedrooms. All heating covers were properly installed on place.
    In entire building there are 8 studios(efficiencies) that consist in single room with private bathroom, no appliances are permitted because there is no space for preparing, cooking, or storing food. Those studios are part of 40 units(apartments) that were approved by the city since 1983 due to conversion from a “hotel” to an “apartment house”, Certificate of occupancy released on August 8, 1972 for two apartments on fifth floor will be attached to this report, all apartments were approved and COC in place but the city don’t provide access to all boxes with documents when I required in September 2018. In the box provided I found one of the COC dated August 8, 1972.
    About Ap 5 G and 5 F I’ll attach documents to this report that show both of the spaces have architect plan approved by the city but the job was never finished, many pictures were taken inside of the both spaces by John Hester, code inspector, I told them that both spaces have approved plan and was recorded with the city code enforcement office, building permit released but job never done. See the inspection report about ap. 5 F and 5G. Because we never knew what’s with the spaces, we decide to use the space for storage rooms, needed materials stored inside.
    Ap 428 was completely renovated, new floors installed, new appliances, the bathroom has a 2 by 4 window and that provide sufficient ventilation, all other apartments have the same size window in the bathroom. All heating covers are in place.
    Fourth and third floor hallways is covered with old carpet but good condition, no tripping hazard. Removing the carpet and installing a new floor on 4 th and 3 rd floors will be next project on February 2019. All exit lights are in working condition, never off.
    Smoking detectors installed in 420, 414, 410,320, 310, 222, 210, 2 a, 206, 405, 5h, 5i, 5c,
    In apartment 403 a new stove was installed. Never dripping sink.

    Apartment 406: damaged wood repaired, refinishing and stain will be applied later. electric panel labeled,
    Smoking alarm adjusted at the correct distance by the celling.
    More pictures with the smoking alarm will be attached. All minor repairs were done, small caulking and sheetrock repairs were done.
    Ap. 301 is under complete renovation, the tenant who lives inside for more than 20 years was convinced to move into 1 bedroom apartment, he’s a great tenant, senior gentleman who loves living in the building, he’s the oldest and longtime resident. Carpet must be removed, wall fixed, floors redone. We are working on removing carpets at the moment.
    It was mention in the report that on third floor rear stairways there is a room full of stuff, yes, is the property of a couple who were moved to Walton by DSS, adult protection , and in they have more stuff in ap. 214, I’m waiting for the county to come and pick up everything.
    Ap. 5a the celling tiles were replaced on January 10, pictures were sent in previous answer to the report by my lawyer.
    Ap. 5 C, smoking alarms were adjusted at the correct distance on the wall. The hood fan is working, the breaker was off and a light bulb missing, tenant never used that appliance before. Ap. 5 e celling painted.
    Ap. 5b sheetrock repaired, damaged door repaired. Carpet cleaned.

    Ap. 5 I, the missing tiles on the wall were installed. Tenant never told me about that, young couple and they don’t like to report anything. I respect their privacy. Smoking alarms in place.

    5i electric panel only for their apartment is labeled. Hood vent light bulb installed.

    Ap 5 H shower wall was cleaned of glue and plastic,
    c celling tiles are old but not in dispair conditions, no water stain ether, smoking alarm installed in every bedrooms and close to the bedrooms on hallway.

    In the report it says that celling grid is suspended from pipe, that’s not true. Both of the inspectors never removed the celling tiles to check the pipes or the celling. No electrical wire on pipes, there are going around but are not tied by the sprinkler pipes. It says that sprinkler heads located above drop celling tiles- so what’s wrong with that?!?! There are outside or above and is nothing wrong with that. Certified and approved by the international building code tiles are in both places. Annual and 5 years sprinkler inspections done by certified company. See the inspection reports.
    On the 3 rd floor the smoke detector located in front of the elevator is not seated flush on celling surface, that smoke detector was installed by the alarm system technician, that alarm is connected to the entire alarm system and we are not allowed to touch it, I’ll inform the technician who will check.
    On the second floor rear stairway the electric panel was labeled, it serves only ap. 2 a and 2 b, The electric wires are okay, the electric inspector never complained about that, check the electric report.
    On the storage room in the second floor there was a sign of water because we have to fix a sewer pipe that was broken, accident can happen anytime. But there is no more leak.
    In the basement area the sprinkler water flow was locked, the key of the lock is in the box on the wall.

    All electrical panels were checked by the electrician, and labeled,
    The storage area that belong to Tiger Asian Cuisine is a part of the space they rent for the business, they are responsible to clean the grease box, to maintain everything in good condition, clean and neat, to take care of electric and sewer pipes. The code enforcement should notify the owner of the business and the owner of the property anytime they plan to visit the site, no walk in anytime permitted.
    West boiler room has corrosive pipes, all of those pipes are not in use, there are two old hot water boilers not in use that are connected by all of those pipes. Everything would be removed soon, there are other important things to do now. The rear stairways is clear of stuff, nothing block the stairs.
    The report it says that’s no record of the inspection of the elevator. The elevator is under professional company service. The technician was notifyed and he said that he’ll contact a third party and come to do an inspection. No problem more than six months, working great. By the way, I never saw inspections report posted to any elevator I use around (City hall, Academy str apartments, Nader tower apartment building, court house), how come the code wants me to post the inspection on the wall?!?!?!
    I’m completely unsatisfied with this report, found it very unprofessional, weak knowledge, mean attitude toward me and my family from the city employees. My tenants continue to receive mean advices from the city employee like to move out because they will be evicted, that I have bed bugs. The newspapers are posting fake stories made by the city officials, even the information from the inspection were released to the press. It’s a total disgrace. The city attorney who’s in charge for more than 35 years in this position is advising my tenants to stop paying the rent. All government agencies were told by the city attorney to stop payment and remove the tenants who were on government financial aid ,a document to prove that is from HUD sent to me to inform that.
    More pictures attached bellow t show my property:

    celling tilles on the fifth floor
    Sprinkler heads are outside.

    fifth floor

    3rd floor hallway
    4th floor

    granite stairways

    2nd floor

    Going to the first floor, original marble
    New celling tiles,light and aesy to install.

    I’m so proud of my property and I’ll continue to take care of it. My tenants are happy to call it “Home, sweet home!” and that means a lot to me! Is not a five star hotel but for me is more than that! God bless USA! In God We Trust!

    With respect,

    Melania Pervu
    01/23/2019, Oneonta, NY

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