Health Department shuts down KC motel after finding roaches, bed bugs & mold

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City Health Department closed down an east-side motel Wednesday morning after finding a host of violations during an inspection on Tuesday.

Health inspectors were called out to the KC Travel Inn at 6006 E. 31st Street just before noon Tuesday. The motel serves both short and long-term guests.

Bert Malone, director of the Division of Environmental Health Services at the health department, said the motel was infested with roaches and bed bugs. Inspectors also found mold, soiled linens and electrical hazards.

Roughly 50 to 75 residents are longer-term guests of the motel. They will have to find other places to stay. The motel was shut down at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

One resident, who asked to remain anonymous said, "This is maybe the only place that people have to live or go and that's unfair.  I understand about the circumstances or the situation with the health department and the codes and all of that but the most important thing is some people were off the streets Now people are living on the streets."

Malone said the health department has tried to work with hotel owners for the past 16 to 18 months to correct the problems.

In June of 2012, Kassandra Peters was killed at the motel while she was working at the front desk.

Managers at the KC Travel Inn say the Health Department wants to shut down the motel because of the history of crime in the area.

Bert Malone, Manager with the Kansas City Health Department say the claim is untrue.

"Our focus really is not on the crime aspect. We have crime throughout the city. We leave that the police department. Our focus is clearly the health codes and enforcing the health codes and nuisance violations that are occurring and clearly this facility had numerous codes that despite repeated warning and acknowledgment by the city, those codes were indeed in violation, they weren't corrected and we took action."

A manager at the motel said Tuesday night they plan to try to continue to work with the health department to correct the problems and hope to eventually reopen.

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