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Safety issues may close motel
If not fixed by March 30, residents will have to move
The Inn by the Station owner has until March 30 to correct health and safety deficiencies or else all 21 units must be vacated. - photo by DENNIS WYATT

Broken sewer lines. Leaking gas meters. Wall gas heaters ripped from walls. Rooms with no heat. Exposed wiring.

That and a lot more were costing some residents of the Inn by the Station formerly known as the Rose Motel on Moffat Boulevard as much as $300 a week.

The owner now has 10 days until March 30 to fix those and other health and safety deficiencies or else all 21 units must be vacated. One unit was already posted by the owner not to be occupied due to serious issues with its condition.

A multi-department team consisting of Manteca building inspectors, fire inspector, police, risk management, and county environmental health did a follow-up inspection on a renter’s complaint Thursday and issued the ultimatum.

At the same time Manteca Police provided all tenants with a list of agencies that can assist them in securing low-income housing should the owner fail to correct the long list of deficiencies by March 30.

“We are concerned about the health and safety of the residents,” said Manteca Fire Marshal Lentz Rey as he pointed out exposed wiring and improperly secured gas pipes and water heaters. “We want buildings in Manteca to be safe.”

The inspection at the residency motel at 339 Moffat Boulevard revealed gas leaking from a gas meter near a unit’s door near where several residents were smoking. A PG&E technician was onsite fixing the meter.

In several rooms, gas heaters had been yanked from the wall. Other rooms have no source of heat which is a clear violation of state law for rentals.

One room had a water heater that was plugged into an electrical wall socket.

There were also broken windows, what was described as a “heavy infestation” of cockroaches, exposed sewer traps, and numerous other structural issues including how toilet vent pipes were installed that aren’t up to code.

The city and county inspectors were not able to enter a number of rooms as they were not granted permission to do so by the renters.

Rey noted that since the last inspection smoke and carbon monoxide detectors had been installed. There were also fire extinguishers put in place Thursday morning. One tenant said he’d been living there for months and had never seen a fire extinguisher at the motel.

Inspectors said the manager was the third one they have dealt with in as many weeks.

Rey noted that a fire wall between a storage area and rooms had been breached in one building rendering it ineffective in case of a fire. He noted the lack of firewalls in other buildings meant should a fire occur from wall heater or working issues, it would likely spread rapidly given there was nothing in place to slow it down such as one-hour rated fire walls.

Police wanted to make sure residents knew of some possible options should they become displaced in 10 days. They provided a list of 15 agencies including a homeless prevention program for those with children that provides rental deposits for the very low income.

Police Chief Nick Obligacion noted many of the tenants could afford rent but not the first month and security departments that most apartments and single family homes or duplexes require.

He pointed to those who were paying $300 a week or $1,200 a month to stay at the Inn at the Station.

“They could rent a small house for less than what they’re paying now (for a room and bathroom),” the police chief said.

A sign facing Moffat was offering move-in special of $99 for a week for the motel located near the city’s transit station.

The fire department inspects boarding houses and motels once a year.