Budgetel to get Second Chance with Court Order


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- The second hearing in the Budgetel nuisance case went before a Hamilton County judge today.

Since November 16, the Budgetel Inn and Suites in East Ridge has been shut down under DA Coty Wamp’s Petition of Abatement Injunction. However, a new court order may repave the way for the motel to reopen.

Judge Boyd Patterson announced “The court’s ruling is that the Budgetel can reopen under the conditions that the Court filed last week.”

The order lists over a dozen requirements that Budgetel must meet in order to reopen.  Before the property reopens, they must rectify the 26 code violations found by East Ridge Code Enforcement in an inspection after the shutdown last month.

They must have 24-7 security along with cameras that can be monitored remotely by East Ridge Police. Registered sex offenders are not to be allowed to stay at the motel for any reason.

Additionally, anyone who stays over 120 days on the property will cause the motel to be fined 500 dollars per day that they are not removed from their rooms. One condition of controversy is a ban on cash rentals, requiring everyone to pay by card for their stays.

Budgetel’s defense attorney Christopher Clem said, “We have been approached by several of the homeless advocacy groups about that, so we might be asking for the Court to modify that at a later date.”

Judge Patterson said he wants to prevent quote, “off the books transactions that could lead to criminal activity”.

For former Budgetel residents, they will be finally getting refunds for the days they had paid for but were not able to stay in their rooms Through December 22nd, residents will be able to go to the property to retrieve any belongings they left in their rooms as management will be receiving the keys to the motel from authorities.

News 12 talked to some residents off-camera after the hearing who said they are cautiously optimistic that the situation will improve for those involved. The next hearing is on January 11th.

Categories: East Ridge, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News