Independence City Council targeting motel with troubled past

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - A troubled Independence motel is about to lose its business license for two months.

Independence City Council Monday is expected to finalize a decision to suspend The Budget Inn Motel's business license.

The council made the move to pull the license in January after the city's license officer concluded that multiple criminal activities had occurred at the motel over the span of a few years.

Included in the findings:

  • 227 police calls in 2015 for service adjacent to or in the vicinity of the motel
  • 294 police calls in 2016 for related criminal activity
  • November 2016 robbery that led to a deadly officer-involved shooting of a suspect

After a notice hearing was held, the license officer found numerous violations.

The council upheld its decision following an appeal hearing earlier this month.

41 Action News talked with Hitesh Bhakta, the manager and son of the Budget Inn Motel's owners.

Bhakta says city council is unfairly unsatisfied with efforts he has made to improve the conditions of the motel in accordance with its requirements to ease the suspension to 30 days.

Bhakta says a requested reinforcement to the property fence is in place and cages surround all smoke detectors, preventing people from tampering with them.

Additionally, Bhakta says the motel has upgraded its security camera system and ended its policy of allowing guest to rent rooms for a week-long span. He contends the steps have dropped the frequency of police calls to the property drastically.

The council noted in its findings that Bhakta has made efforts, but concluded that evidence of past city code violations supports the 60-day suspension.

Bhakta says his family will likely appeal the suspension in court.

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Brian Abel can be reached at brian.abel@kshb.com. 

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