ONEONTA – Accusing 195 Main Street owners Melania and Nicolae Pervu of “gross negligence” and warning that they are “approaching criminal behavior,” the City of Oneonta will ask County Judge John Lambert to shut down the former Oneonta Hotel during a hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
“The situation has now passed far beyond dirty rugs and stained ceiling tiles from a leaking roof,” wrote David Merzig, city attorney. “The Respondents are now demonstrating gross negligence and, in the opinion of the City, actually approaching criminal behavior and must be stopped immediately.”
Since the initial inspection on Tuesday, Jan. 15, which the building failed, Merzig noted, two “serious and life-threatening incidents” related to 195 Main St. were reported.
ONEONTA – Nicolae Pervu, owner of the former Oneonta Hotel at 195 Main St., allegedly threatened a City of Oneonta Code Enforcement Inspector after he reported to the scene of a malfunctioning boiler that filled the building at 189 Main with carbon dioxide.
“Our inspector left the building because he felt threatened by Mr. Pervu,” said Mayor Gary Herzig.
The issues began with the Oneonta Fire Department responded to 189 Main, where carbon monoxide detectors were going off. Firefighters found high levels of carbon monoxide in the building and evacuated the tenants, which include the offices of LEAF Inc, Otsego Now and several law offices.
City Attorney David Merzig and building owner Melania Pervu met with County Judge John F. Lambert’s law clerk in Cooperstown this morning, following the release of the inspection report into the former Oneonta Hotel at 195 Main St. that showed filthy bathrooms, holes in walls and ceilings and tiles covering the sprinkler system.
According to Merzig, the clerk recommended that the city bring an Order to Show Cause to the judge, recommending punishment for the Pervus – Melania and her husband Nicolae – for failing to comply with Lambert’s September order that the building be brought up to code by Jan. 11. The order will then be presented to the judge for his ruling.
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.”
COOPERSTOWN – County Judge John Lambert this morning supported Oneonta City Hall’s actions against Oneonta Hotel owner Melania Pervu in every particular, only extending the deadline for final action until January.
After conferring with lawyers for both sides for 40 minutes in chambers, Lambert, filling in as Supreme Court judge for Michael V. Coccoma, on assignment out of town, declared:
• One, city building inspectors must provide Mrs. Pervu with a comprehensive list of violations by Oct. 1.
COOPERSTOWN – In the first court hearing in City Hall efforts to evict tenants from the deteriorating former Oneonta Hotel building, City Attorney David Merzig made the city’s opinion very clear.
“We’re at the end of our ropes,” Merzig said today in state Supreme Court here. “We are not going to be held responsible if there is a fire in that building and 20 people die in downtown Oneonta.”
After ordering building owners Melania and Nicolae Pervu to fix multiple building code violations, the city deemed the building unsafe last November and stated that the Pervus had until April 30 to comply with the building codes before evictions would take place.
Merzig explained that those code violations were not rectified, and the city is looking to move forward with eviction proceedings as soon as possible.
“It is the city’s position that that ship has already sailed,” said Merzig, citing the nine-month window the city gave the owners.