Health department issues notice of intent to suspend Economy Inn - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Health department issues notice of intent to suspend Economy Inn's operations

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After complaints of human trafficking, roaches and drugs, the city of Louisville has given a troubled motel 10 days to clean up or shut down.

But the owner of the Economy Inn says he won't go out without a fight. 

Fred Cogswell Jr.'s unwanted neighbors may be on the way out. This week, the Louisville Health Department issued a notice to suspend Economy Inn's license. 

"Oh my God, everything from pills, to drugs, to syringes and condoms over my back fence, and people back here saying things to my daughter that you would not believe over the last 12 years," he said.

The motel scored 48 out of 100 Monday during a surprise inspection. Violations included roaches, dirty sheets and gnats. 

The business on Bardstown Road near Goldsmith Lane has been under intense scrutiny -- a former worker came forward saying she witnessed human trafficking -- but this spring an effort to force the business out failed. 

The owner said he's making $700,000 in improvements. 

"I've seen paint and construction, but they're just putting Band-Aids on," Cogswell said. "They're just trying to get the city off their back."

Metro Council member Steve Magre has been leading the charge against Economy Inn. 

"Economy is not the only hotel," Magre said. "I think we need that public nuisance ordinance modified or changed."

He says Monday's surprise inspection followed the complaints of a mother who recently stayed with her infant. 

"If nothing else, the next time a three- or four-month-old baby is in there they won't get bed bug bites," Magre said.

The owner, Tony Aldo, says his business is being singled out. He's hired two new lawyers to file an appeal and says he may sue the city for harassment. 

Patty Greene Both lives and works at the Economy Inn and says a number of others do as well.

"They've been bombarding us and we've been doing everything we're supposed to be doing as far as remodeling and the corrections," she said. "I would have no other place to go."

City Code enforcement returned to the site as we gathered our story. They wouldn't say if it was another inspection.

The owners were given 10 days to appeal. 

"I just hope it goes through this time," Cogswell said.

The Economy Inn earned 100 percent on a health department inspection back in April. 

The appeal will lead to a meeting with public health officials who will have the final say on the license

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