"It's hard to describe. There's a very heavy infestation of bed bugs. Everyone we spoke to there had (bed bug) sores. The sheets on the beds were covered in little spots of blood. Roaches — vermin — filth —the smell — sewage — water damage, I don't know how anybody lived there. It's just not a good deal," said city of Ardmore code enforcement officer Scott McBride Friday as he confirmed the city had condemned the Regency Inn motel.
The violations continued to mount Friday against Nila J. Rana, owner of the N. Commerce Street motel. One of those violations revolved around a number of people occupying the motel's estimated 50 rooms.
"That was a lot of people's homes. It's illegal to rent someone a room for more than 30 days. That's a motel, not a house," McBride said.
Police were called to the scene on standby status after several of the permanent residents resisted orders to pack and move. Sources speculated those who had called the motel home were reluctant to leave because they had nowhere else to go.
McBride also confirmed Friday was not the first time code enforcement officers had been to the motel.
"We've been working with the health department on issues for a year. Friday they called us again," McBride said.
Zach Collins, Carter County Health Department public health specialist, said Friday's action moved into "active" enforcement.
"The health department has done a number of inspections during the last year. Follow ups showed they were incapable of fixing or remedying the issues and we moved to enforcement. This is part of actively conducting the enforcement process. The issues will be remedied or there will be disciplinary action," Collins said, adding the issues the health department sought to remedy were unrelated to issues regarding city building codes.
McBride said the city's stance is now non-negotiable.
"We are going to require the cure," McBride said. "The first step is an exterminator. After the infestation problems are eliminated, we will look at issuing a building permit to bring it up to code."