LIMA — Clean-up work at the former Royal Inn location near downtown Lima continued at a feverish pace Friday, with few remnants remaining of the one-time motel that was deemed late last year to be a public nuisance.
The city filed a lawsuit last May against Rashmikant Patel, who owns the property at 418 W. Market St., following an incident when a metal structure on top of the building serving as its roof flew off and crashed into a nearby alley on a windy day. After an interior inspection that highlighted a number of fire code and property maintenance violations, the city alleged in a court filing that the building constituted a public nuisance.
A settlement for the case was reached at the end of October and Patel agreed to demolish the building by the end of the 2018. After initially making substantial progress in knocking down the building and hauling scrap away from the site, demolition efforts lagged. By the middle of February debris still occupied a large portion of the lot, prompting city officials to file a second motion in Allen County Common Pleas Court asking that Patel be found in contempt of court for failing to meet the demolition deadline due to “disobedience of, or resistance to, a lawful order, judgment, or command of a court.”
Anthony Geiger, law director for the City of Lima, said Friday, “The city is happy to see the owner is making substantial progress toward finishing the demolition process, and we encourage him to get it completely finished very soon.”