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Metro Council To Consider Law Change Aimed At Economy Inn

A headache residents of the Bashford Manor neighborhood have been dealing with might soon be addressed.

On Thursday, the Metro Council will consider an ordinance aimed at dealing with the problematic Economy Inn on Bardstown Road.

There’s been rampant crime and drug use at the motel, which received a 48 percent score from the Metro Public Health and Wellness Department in August. It’s been frustrating residents for years.

Councilman Steve Magre, who has been representing the area since February and sponsored the ordinance, said problems there are what he’s hearing about the most from constituents.

“There is more responses associated with the Economy Inn — and I mean complaining about the Economy Inn — than any other issue in my eight-and-a-half, nine months,” he said.

The ordinance would change the city's current public nuisance law to allow city officials to close a hotel or motel if there are at least five incidents (per 100 rooms) within a two-month period where there was criminal activity that the owners did not actively stop.

Magre said the laws on the books are not responsive enough for dealing with issues such as those at the Economy Inn. An attorney for owner Tony Yaldo has said city officials have unfairly targeted the motel.

Virginia McKenney of the Bashford Manor Neighborhood Association said she’s glad the Economy Inn issue is being addressed. She said it’s made her once-pleasant neighborhood a scary place to live.

Magre said he hasn’t counted votes, but he’s hopeful most of the council understands that the ordinance is an effort to deal with serious issues facing residents.

“All the tea leaf signs are good for it passing, and we just have to wait and see,” he said.

Magre said if the ordinance is approved, it could be a couple months before the rule change kicks in.