Town to seek injunction against Inn
The Bath Town Council voted last week to instruct Attorney Richard Gay to prepare an injunction against The Country Inn for failure to pay hotel-motel taxes, public safety, street and garbage fees.
The council met with Gay in executive session to review options during their Tuesday evening, May 1 meeting.
After the council returned from executive session, Councilman Andy Swaim, who chairs the Finance Committee, made the following motion:
“I move that our Town of Bath Police Chief continue his investigation in conjunction with the county prosecuting attorney into the payment of hotel-motel taxes to the Town of Bath, and I further move that the town attorney prepare an injunctive action to be filed in circuit court.”
The motion was seconded simultaneously by three other council members and was passed unanimously after a brief discussion.
Asked what this meant, Gay explained, “It’s part of the ordinance. Section 79.90 of the ordinance says if the failure of any operator to comply with the provisions of the article should continue for 60 days, the treasurer may proceed to obtain an injunction restraining the operator from doing business in the town until they fully comply with the article.”
Last October, The Country Inn was ordered by the circuit court to pay $60,500 in back taxes and fees to the town. A payment schedule was set up and the Inn made the first two payments in October and November totaling $25,000.
Since then, the Inn has failed to make scheduled payments of $10,000 in both December and January and a $15,500 payment in February.
In addition, the Inn has failed to keep up with payments on monthly tax receipts and town fees.
Gay said he should have the injunction prepared to present to the council at the next meeting on May 15. The council may then vote to instruct Gay to file the injunction with the court.
The issue came to a head at the April 21 meeting when Stephanie Rebant and Jeanne Mozier of Travel Berkeley Springs demanded the town take action against the Inn.
Travel Berkeley Springs is the recipient of one half of all hotel-motel taxes collected by the town and uses the money to promote tourism and local business.
Other council actions
The council approved a liquor license application for the Mountaineer Sports Bar and Grill. The Grill will be located above the Nature Niche in the location previously occupied by La Luna Wine Bar.
The license application will be sent to the state for final approval.
Manager Wanda Geyer said the grill will feature wide screen televisions on all the walls and have a full service kitchen.
Dawn Beal was appointed by the council as a town representative on the Parks & Recreation Board.
Beal, who resides on Rockwell Street, said she was interested in serving on the board because there are not enough activities in the community for kids.