Town attorney: Time running out for Wading River Motel owners

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | The county has been using the Wading River Motel on Route 25 to house homeless families.

It’s been almost four months since Riverhead authorities raided the Wading River Motel Aug. 12 on a search warrant for possible code violations, and no formal violations have been issued, according to town attorney Bob Kozakiewicz.

But the town has issued what’s called an “order to remedy” situations at the motel, which the gives the motel’s owners time to correct building and fire code violations inspectors found at the site, he said.

The order to remedy is 30 pages long and gives a room-by-room listing of items that need to be remedied.

“There were probably half a dozen violations in each room; multiply that by 36 units,” Mr. Kozakiewicz said. Some of those have since been corrected, but others have not, he added.

If these items are not corrected, Mr. Kozakiewicz said he will recommend that the Town Board take the motel’s owners, Wading River Development LLC, to both state Supreme Court and Riverhead Justice Court to get the building up to code.

Asked how much longer the motel owners have to correct the alleged violations, Mr. Kozakiewicz said, “Not much longer. This has dragged on long enough, in my opinion.”

The motel was being used by the county department of social services as a shelter for battered women, and the town’s raid set off a war of words between town officials and DSS commissioner Greg Blass. Councilman George Gabrielsen also objected to the raid.

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