BRANSON, Mo. – Ozarksfirst is following up on a story we brought you Monday about a courtesy notice issued at the Oak Grove and American Family Patriot Inn.
The city said three properties have received a notice so far under the lodging safety initiative, a new program aimed at holding landlords accountable and protecting tenants. One of the last remaining tenants at Oak Grove Inn said things have changed since Monday and she now has to move out of the property.
“We woke up with a knock at the door about 9 a.m. [Tuesday] morning,” tenant Anita Williams said. “The police department explained to us that the water was being shut off.”
Williams showed Ozarksfirst a letter from the city stating the water would be shut off on October 26. The city said the water being shut-off is not apart of the Lodging Safety Initiative. Water cut-off happens after building owners do not pay 30 days after their bill being due.
“These scam hotels that are doing this and there’s plenty of them in Branson, they need to be shut down immediately,” Williams said.
As soon as Williams received the news of the water cut-off, she started calling places she and her family could stay at.
“I’ve called between churches, hotels and other agencies that others have recommended probably 75 different places,” Williams said. “One came through today, the Branson Bible Church. The gentleman was real nice. He actually wrote me a check in my name.”
Williams said she also received help from House of Hope. She is moving over to America’s Best Inn until she can find an apartment.
“Our agency received a call alerting the team that the water at Oak Grove Inn would be shut off. Due to the risk this poses for tenants, House of Hope and several nonprofit organizations apart of the Emergency Closure Response Team arrived on the property to provide support. Being proactive in this instance provided an opportunity to assist each family with their unique needs. Since the call was received, there have been twenty-four residents relocated,” said Alex Sprinkle, House of Hope Services Director.
-Alex Sprinkle, House of Hope Services Director
“We’re 50 shy and I have until tomorrow at 10 a.m. to come up with that,” Williams said.
Williams said she is happy the city enacted the Lodging Safety Initiative and hopes it will continue to put a stop to places she said are scamming people.
“[The city has] already proven that they will not allow an inspection to go through unless you meet all their standards, which is a great thing, because not only do you need to protect the people that are living there, but you need to protect our tourist as well, because they do have a say in this,” Williams said.