Taxpayers pay $ 200,000 in damages allegedly caused by homeless people in Mecklenburg County; the bill could increase

CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTE) – Mecklenburg County has already approved the disbursement of more than $ 200,000 for repairs to hotel rooms allegedly damaged by homeless people, but commissioners now say it could cost the county even more.

This is due to the fact that homeless people still live in the hotel and more damage is potentially accumulated.

An entire hotel was rented from March 2020 to November to house homeless people for reasons of social distancing. But homeless people can still reside there, so county officials predict that more damage could be done.

Last week, Mecklenburg County approved $ 207,000 for alleged damage to be repaired at the hotel.

FOX 46 contacted the entire County Commissioners Council and not a single one said they saw photos of the alleged damage.

It was reported at last week’s board meeting that someone from the county director’s office has them; but after repeated attempts FOX 46 was unable to obtain a copy.

A public record request has been submitted and has not yet been completed.

Commissioner Susan Rodriguez McDowell responded to an email from FOX 46 and said that while she had never seen any of the damage herself, she trusted county staff to review the hotel’s claims.

“They don’t just write blank checks for unverified expenses! McDowell wrote.

Some FOX 46 viewers wonder if the hotels are taking advantage of Mecklenburg County by asking for money to repair the damage that was already there. Commissioners Leigh Altman and Vilma Leake appeared skeptical at last week’s board meeting.

“I was not aware of the major damage to the hotel in the camp, what was done that requires $ 207,000 to repair?” Altman asked. “Are there before and after photos?” Leake asked.

But the county manager assured them the repairs were needed.

“The detailed list that was provided to the staff and includes damage to mattresses, curtains, some furniture, carpeting as well, pretty much anything near a hotel room. “

Motel 6, located on Queen City Drive, has received 1.5 stars online from previous guests. Customers have cited the smell of urine in the rooms, cigarette burns in the blankets, etc.

Commissioner McDowell has now raised the issue with the county audit committee to make sure every penny has been cataloged.

FOX 46 has also contacted the owners of the hotel but has yet to receive a response.

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