- Associated Press - Sunday, March 12, 2017

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Authorities escorted out the tenants of a century-old Juneau hotel and took the property’s manager into custody after identifying several public health and safety hazards.

Bergmann Hotel was condemned after the owners failed to address fire and building code violations, city spokeswoman Lisa Phu said. Owners Kathleen and James Barrett had until last month to correct the violations, but city officials say recent inspections found few corrections and several more violations, the Juneau Empire reported Friday (https://bit.ly/2mggEeB ).

The Salvation Army helped find housing for those who had nowhere to go.

“It’s a bad time to be kicking people out,” tenant James Cole said, noting the cold weather. “The Bergmann is all we’ve got. Now we’ve got nowhere to go.”

Health and safety hazards at the hotel included an inoperable sprinkler system, a hole in the roof, a lack of heat and hot water, inadequate restrooms, exposed wiring, broken windows and unsuitable emergency exit doors, according to the city.

The manager was led away in handcuffs for not complying with a Thursday notice that the violations be corrected or the building vacated within 24 hours.

“It was his responsibility,” Police Chief Bryce Johnson said. “He was supposed to have the place safe or everyone out.”

In October, the city and borough of Juneau sent letters to Kathleen Barrett and building staff citing multiple code violations and details on how to correct them, Phu said in a news release.

Management initially had one month to make the fixes, but the deadline was pushed to February at Barrett’s request. Officials found several violations during a walkthrough Friday, said Charlie Ford, a borough official.

“We’ve been generous with giving an extension and keeping an eye on the place. This was not an overnight decision; we’ve been trying to work with them for a long time,” Ford said.

He said he noticed Friday that some sheet rock repair had been done and that the toilets were operable. But the hole in the roof remained, along with issues with the boiler, including carbon monoxide detected in the boiler room, he said.

The order to vacate can be appealed within 20 days of when it was issued.


Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, https://www.juneauempire.com

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