Mold discovered in Cleveland Hotel

Source: http://starbeacon.com, March 16, 2009
By: MarK Todd

A Monday morning inspection of the Cleveland Hotel found mold in portions of the building, said Sally Kennedy, city health commissioner.

The bank that holds the mortgage on the building will be contacted, but occupants are in no danger and use of the building won’t change, Kennedy said. “It’s not a problem,” she said.

Cady Hutchinson, city environmental health inspector, and fire inspector Steve Sanford examined the century-old building. Hutchinson’s report has not been filed, but she reportedly found evidence of mold in the basement and in some of the residential units, Kennedy said.

The hotel is now home to more than two dozen condominium units. Only one is occupied, according to reports.

The mold was found in an unoccupied unit, Kennedy said.

Mold was one complaint cited in a lawsuit filed late last year in Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court by Roger and Colleen Mericka, who are leasing one of the units. The Merickas have named several defendants in their complaint, which alleges — among other things — that building maintenance has been neglected.

The health department will monitor the mold situation and will seek to have the source — water or moisture — corrected, Kennedy said. A letter will be sent to the Colorado bank that apparently holds title to the building.

Developers who spearheaded a $2.3 million facelift of the hotel said several weeks ago they intended to declare personal bankruptcy. A local receiver has been appointed to keep an eye on the property until a new owner arrives.

In addition to the Merickas, the hotel is home to Snap Fitness, a health club that occupies much of the first floor.

A remedy to the mold situation will take time to accomplish, Kennedy said. “It’s not an overnight thing,” she said.

Sanford said he found no outstanding fire code violations during his tour of the building, he said Monday.

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