Airport Inn to be discussed at council

Owner of hotel says he has retained a lawyer, council to hear report to not renew business licence

The owner of the Airport Inn Lakeside will be before Lake Country council Tuesday night.

The owner of the Airport Inn Lakeside will be before Lake Country council Tuesday night.

The owner of the Airport Inn Lakeside says a city council report recommending his business licence not be renewed is comprised of “90 per cent lies.”

“I have my lawyer and I’ve talked with him,” hotel owner Raif Fleihan said on Monday, adding that he planned to be at the Tuesday meeting where the issue was to be discussed.

“Anybody who makes a false statement can be in a lawsuit.”

Community development manager Jamie McEwan wrote in the report to council that the hotel has a number of problems with contravening bylaws that date back to 1998, however the recommendation to stop renewal of the business licence has largely to do with risks posed to the community.

“It is primarily on the grounds of public health and safety that staff are recommending that the business licence not be renewed in 2017,” McEwan wrote.

Some of the issues highlighted were waterlogged floors, electrical problems and mold.

“Secondary issues include frequent and recurring fire inspection and RCMP issues with the property/business,” wrote McEwan.

Detailing the RCMP issues, McEwan said, between April 1, 2009 and Nov. 25, 2016 there were 162 calls for service generated at the Airport Inn Lakeside, and in the last two years calls for service have increased substantially.

Over the years there have been 37 calls for crimes against an individual, 26 for property crime, three for drugs, 25 for other criminal code violations and 71 for provincial or federal statute files.

These claims said Fleihan, are also overblown.

While there have been issues at the Inn, he pointed out it’s not a high-end establishment and many of the people who are staying there are down on their luck.

Local governments across the Okanagan, he said, are bent on putting businesses under.

The issue went to council Tuesday.

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