After years as an eyesore and a closure in 2010, the Palms Motel, located on Route 14 just west of the Walmart, will likely be no more by the end of the day Aug. 14.
Fire crews will gather at 6 a.m. that morning, laying hose lines in preparation for its demolition in a controlled burn, which will serve as a training exercise for firefighters, according to Mayor Glenn Broska.
“An EPA inspection is needed before the burn can proceed,” he said. “It’s just to make sure that everything that needs to be removed is removed.”
Fire Chief Rob Reinholz said the timing of the fire itself could vary, depending on the weather.
“If we light it at 7 a.m., it should be really rolling by 8 a.m.,” he said. That’s if the weather is dry. If it rains overnight, it could delay the fire.
Wind, depending on its direction, could delay the burn, he said.
Broska said he’s anticipating people may want to watch the blaze.
“We advise them to stay on the opposite side of Route 14,” he said. “Do not try to go on the same side as the fire department.”
There also will be lane restrictions on Route 14 during the exercise, but Reinholz said he hopes the event is over by 11 a.m.
“We wanted to burn it early so we wouldn’t tie up Route 14,” he said.
By the time of its May 2010 shutdown by the city, the motel had been the site of drug busts, had tallied 72 fire code violations in a single inspection by the state fire marshal and failed to connect the city’s sanitary sewer system.
It was the failure to connect to the sewer system that led Summit County Court of Common Pleas Judge Thomas Teodosio to issue an order to connect or face shut down. The owner did not meet the deadline.
The building was build in 1950, and former Mayor Art Scott said he remembers when it was “hot spot” in the 1960s, but he said in 2010 it had been a problem for the past 12 years.
“Three mayors have tried to shut it down,” he said in 2010.
FB: The Gateway News/Bob Gaetjens