Residents living in a motel fear they could become homeless - KOAM TV 7

Residents living in an Iola motel fear they could become homeless


A sudden notice left on doors has put residents at an Iola, Kansas motel into panic.  The city shut off their electricity Thursday afternoon and now many residents fear they will be left homeless.

Emotions were high Thursday morning as residents of the Crossroads Motel hoped their worst nightmare wasn't coming true.

Tenant Doug Brown reads the notice left with residents:  "'The electricity will be disconnected at 12 o'clock noon, February 28th, 2013.  You will have to vacate the premises by that point.  You will not be able to remain in the room without electricity.  For explanation and further details contact the hotel management.  By order the City of Iola.'"

Thirty-three people currently occupy rooms at the motel, including families with children, and several medically disabled residents.

"This is home and I'm worried because if me and my husband have to move, my husband and I have no where to go," says tenant Jessica Wright.

Kenny Gandhi is the manager of the hotel.  Several calls to him were not returned.

City officials in Iola tell us delayed utility payments and other factors have played a role in the residents receiving these notices.

"Unfortunately, it's all come together here at this point where the manager is just not able to keep up with things and this is the result," says Iola City Administrator Carl Slaugh.

Electric crews arrived at noon to cut the power to the motel.

"Of course we feel badly that it's happening at a bad time of the year," Slaugh says.  "Unfortunately it's perpetuated for over a year and things have not gotten better.  They've gotten worse."

With the power gone it's leaving residents asking what to do next.

"I can survive under a bridge but I'm getting too old for that," says tenant Dennis Aquino.  "But what about the disabled and got kids?"

"I'm having faith and putting it in the Lord's hands that hopefully everything works out," says Wright.

With as much as they can load into their cars and trucks, these residents hope they can one day return back to their homes.

Residents of the Crossroads Motel have not been formally evicted but if the past-due bills are not paid within 12 days officials say water and gas utilities will be shut off as well.

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