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Budget Inn owner receives extension

The Budget Inn in Unicoi has been closed since January. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Richard Rourk)

By Richard Rourk

The Budget Inn in Unicoi will remain closed until the case can be heard again in the near future.

The Honorable Judge Stacy Street granted the Budget Inn owner, Rohit Majethia of Jonesborough, an extension to make numerous repairs to the property during a hearing held on Monday, Feb. 24.

According to the request by Majethia, inclement weather has stalled progress on renovations to the property.

During a joint press conference held at the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department’s training facility on Jan. 8, Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley was joined by District Attorney Ken Baldwin and Assistant District Attorney Todd Hull to announce the temporary injunction to close and padlock the Budget Inn. The closure project was dubbed “Operation Heartbreak Hotel.”

According to Hensley in January, there were 244 calls for service at Budget Inn from July 1, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2019. Those calls included 100 that are related to criminal activity, 58 medical calls, 16 calls that were theft reports, 14 fight calls and 12 domestic violence calls.

The Budget Inn has been padlocked every since Jan. 8, and everyone except for Majethia has been told to stay off of the premises.

“We are patrolling that area several times a day, and will continue to do so,” Town of Unicoi Police Chief Andy Slagle told The Erwin Record.”

Street scheduled the case to be heard on May 4 at the Unicoi County Courthouse.