BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. - Following the mass eviction of dozens of families from an extended stay motel, officials in Bartow County have enacted sweeping regulations and oversight to ensure the health and safety of motel guests.
"It breaks my heart for families that are stuck in these conditions," said Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor.
Health officials shut down the Budgetel Motel, north of Cartersville, in October for code violations. Fire inspectors said the motel also was out of compliance by allowing the use of hot plates in guest rooms.
"Can you imagine if a fire took place and the county had turned a blind eye to these types of conditions and there were deaths involved?" Taylor said.
Under the new ordinance, extended stay motels must meet mandatory space requirements for multiple guests, have kitchens and pay additional fees.
Guests staying a consecutive 120 days, must vacate for two days, before rebooking a room. The commissioner says the goal in protect families.
"The safety of the public is our first concern," Taylor said.
The commissioner said he recently spoke with an extended stay guest who said she was paying $350 per week for a room. That's enough to rent an apartment in Bartow County, but many long-term motel guests say they can't come up with funds for a deposit.
"Those people that are paying that type of money are really being taken advantage of in my opinion," Taylor said.
The county will begin enforcement of the new extended stay motel ordinance in the next 30 days.
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