August 27, 2014

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State could hold Hotel Barnes hearing in October


Progress Editor

PAULDING – The owners of the vacant Hotel Barnes in Paulding did not request an appeal hearing for a state fire marshal’s citation for building code violations.

On Sept. 13, The Division of State Fire Marshal made a request to the Board of Building Appeals for a “Goldman Hearing” to present its case. That hearing likely will be held Oct. 25 in Columbus and will be open to the public.

If the appeals board upholds the SFM’s citation, the local prosecutor will then be asked to enforce the citation, according to agency spokesman Shane Cartmill. The state fire marshal’s office will assist in this process as possible and where allowed by law.

The property is fenced in, and although no warning signs are posted, individuals allegedly have entered the building without permission.

“The property has distinct hazards which could result in injury,” said Cartmill. “In the interest of safety, we would ask anyone who sees someone on the property to contact the local police or sheriff.”

Citations were issued June 24 against Aaron Powell, who had been buying the hotel building on land contract, and building owner Carol Gross of Contemporary Caterers Inc.

According to the citation, on June 2, a certified fire safety inspector employed by the state fire marshal inspected the hotel property, located at 110 S. Williams St. In Paulding. The site was formerly the Hotel Barnes and more recently operated as a bar and restaurant.

The citation alleges that the Ohio Fire Code has been violated and assesses a civil penalty for each violation. Inspectors found the property to be especially liable to fire or endanger life or other property by reason of want of repair, age and dilapidated condition, defective electrical wiring and equipment, defective chimneys, gas connections, or heating apparatus, or other reason.

The citation orders the responsible parties to abate violations within 30 days.