Following Monday night’s 9-3 city council vote to approve the sale of the Sleepy Inn Motel to the city of Missoula, COVID 19 Incident Commander Cindy Farr addressed the issue of a published negative health department inspection of the motel.

“The visit done by our department a few weeks ago was not atypical routine inspection,” said Farr. “The visit was requested in order to figure out what changes would need to be made in order to bring the facility into compliance if it was going to be used as a shelter. It looked at about half of the rooms and partnered with other regulatory agencies like building and fire inspectors which are perspective that we don’t normally have whenever our environmental health inspectors go out.”

Farr explained why some of the inspection results sounded so negative.

“We had several rooms that has been vacant and had been sitting for awhile,” said Farr. “This allowed water to sit in the pipes resulting in rusty water color and it allowed for pests to take up residence. Rooms with more activity are not likely to attract pests, so cleaning and maintenance happen more routinely, so the pest issues can be more easily identified.”

Farr acknowledged that the motel does present challenges to bring it to a point where the city could provide a facility that would be acceptable for use.

“I’m not saying there aren’t issued with this unit, there are,” she said. “What I am saying is that this visit wasn’t a typical inspection visit. All of the issues will be addressed before that facility will be used as a shelter. Additionally, if there were any imminent threats to health and safety during this assessment that immediate action would have been required.”

There is no timeline at present as to when the remediation of the facility will begin.