PITTSBURG — What to do with and about the Hotel Besse has been a topic of some discussion at the City of Pittsburg, even before the topic was brought up at Tuesday’s City Commission meeting.
Commissioner Chuck Munsell asked City Manager Daron Hall what was going on with the building after receiving a call from a constituent
Hall said several things are moving forward concerning the hotel, which has been a source of complaints for sometime — including concerns about drugs, conditions within the hotel and continual false fire alarms.
He said things came to a head this week when the Pittsburg Fire Department made five fire runs in one day.
Currently, Hall said, a city employee is stationed within the building 24 hours a day to make sure that the only people in the building are residents — currently only 11 people reside there, and the city stopped giving HUD vouchers for the Hotel Besse in mid-2016 due to what Hall termed “neglect.”
Hall stressed to the commission that the need for a city employee on-site would only be temporary, as there are several things in the works which should eliminate that need.
According to a release from the city, in late 2016, after witnessing the gradual decline of the facility, due to negligence, city staff began engaging other entities who held an interest in the Besse Apartments to address the issues, and to determine the best way to get necessary maintenance completed.
These entities (Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, USDA, and a private bank) have met via conference call with city staff on a semi-monthly basis, to determine the best way to maintain the building and identify new management options.
By the end of 2016, according to the release, all interested parties agreed to explore new ownership structure.
City staff have said more announcements should be forthcoming in the next few weeks.