City had no choice when it came to dilapidated motel

Some have expressed the opinion that the official order for residents to leave the run-down Fairview Lodge was unfair to residents.

This, despite the fact that the electricity and water have been turned off, the owners are behind on taxes and the water bill and some residents claim they aren’t even sure who the owners are.

Minot P.D. told Minot Daily News this week that they couldn’t even reach an owner. Nor did MDN receive a call back from the online listed number for management. While subsequent reports have cited the owners, it remains a less than clear situation.

Even a casual survey of the property illustrates its unsavory condition. Neighbors have filed complaints. First District Health Unit, which instructed the handful of residents that the bulding would be closed, couldn’t confirm reports of human waste being on property, but the allegations are disturbing enough to warrant action.

No one should live under these conditions.

First District Health Unit and the City of Minot are correct to take this corrective measure. It isn’t repressive; it’s humane. And since First District Health Unit has rightly been in touch with social service providers to work with current residents to relocate, residents may well feel relieved – as should neighbors.

Minot is blessed with shelters, social service agencies with the capacity to help and generous residents and faith communities to step up and help those in need. MDN has full confidence in that capacity. Support from the community for those in need is one of our community’s most noble attributes.

Imagine if the power and water were still disconnected when winter returns.

Even when it comes to a dilapidated building such as this motel, it isn’t an easy ethical decision to force people to relocate – even though authorities acknowledge it is often a residence of last choice for some people.

However, given support being offered by those same authorities, it is the right – and only – thing to do.

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