Problems at Wagon Wheel roll on

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By Jessica Hardin


The temporary restraining order that forced the Wagon Wheel Motel to vacate was extended for two weeks Thursday.

The original order was issued May 24 because of roofing and electrical problems that pose risks to occupants and first responders.

Although a commercial roofing crew was spotted making repairs at the motel Monday, the building’s safety deficiencies persist, officials said.

The property was inspected Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s scheduled hearing in Judge John Durkin’s court in the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas.

“There was still evidence that the roof was leaking, and there was water damage to the underlayment of the roof. Some of the repairs they made solved some roof leaks, but there are still existing roof leaks,” said Lt. Will Ferrando, fire safety inspector with the Boardman Fire Department.

Lt. Ferrando inspected the property with the state fire marshal, who noted mold issues in the building.

The owners “have worked on it,” said Chip Comstock, the attorney representing the BFD. “But it’s not yet at a place where it can be occupied.”

Chirag Enterprises, owner of the Wagon Wheel, declined to comment.

The process initiated by the BFD is one of three legal challenges the property owner faces.

The Mahoning County Building Department issued an adjudication order April 3, which gave the owners until May 3 to correct issues found in their inspection. The Mahoning County Prosecutor’s office was notified of the owners’ failure to comply with the order.

The owners appealed the adjudication order to the state Board Building of Appeals.

Additionally, Boardman Township trustees condemned the property May 13 based on the inspection conducted by the fire department March 28.

Trustees upheld their decision in an appeal hearing May 28.

Motel owners can appeal the condemnation in the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas. If they don’t do so before next Thursday, trustees can move forward with demolition.

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