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Wojcik Calls for Closing of Holiday Inn, Cites Safety Concern

Updated: 05/30/2014 10:44 PM
Created: 05/30/2014 9:01 PM KAALtv.com
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 News) -- A Rochester city council member is pushing for an immediate closing of a new hotel. He says it's in order to keep the general public safe. We talked with the councilman today and the hotel developers who say it's the first they're hearing of the issue.

"Fairly sizable pieces, you can see one of them that fell to the ground here,” said Rochester City Councilman, Michael Wojcik. He has concerns about pieces of cultured stone falling off of Holiday Inn Express and Suites. "This is heavy enough that if this were to fall on a child this could potentially kill a child from that height, so I think there's a real public safety issue here,” he said.  

The building is right on the corner of Highway 52 and 2nd Second Street, just a few yards off a sidewalk.

"There isn't really anyway somebody could be hurt by something like that, unless they were sitting down there on the ledge,” said Almir Hodzic, Rochester Resident.

But Wojcik says this isn't the first time it's happened. They had the same problem shortly after the hotel opened in 2012.

"I was told that the issue had been resolved,” said Wojcik.

We reached out to the hotel developers who told ABC 6 News they fixed the stone installation problems a couple years back and our call is the first they're hearing of another issue.

"If we felt that there was any danger to the public we would obviously address it immediately, and we feel that there is no immediate danger to the public, and we're just re-checking with the city to make sure they have no current issues,” said Nate Kessler, Vice President of Operations for Lamont Companies. The developers plan to send a construction crew out next week to repair the crumbling wall.

"Construction wise, I think they need to build stuff better,” said Hodzic.

Wojcik says it's the city's obligation to the public to ensure what's built is safe. "We need to shut them down until they resolve their issues, then they can reopen as a safe hotel in Rochester,” said Wojcik. He plans to take this issue to the next city council meeting on Monday.