MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. - People living at the Santa Fe Motel in Manitou Springs may be kicked due to the owner not paying the water bill for the past four months.
On Thursday, Manitou Springs police posted a notice on each of the tenant's doors warning them that if the bill is not paid in full by the end of January they will completely shut off the water leaving the motel uninhabitable.
Scott Meacham has lived there for four years. He and other residents were shocked and surprised when they read the note on their doors, "that was the first time we were aware of that so we didn't know the water was not paid," says Meacham. "We didn't know there was a potential eviction coming."
About 30 people live at the motel, most of them live off a fixed income. Meacham says if the bill is not paid, he and others may have no other place to go, "I have an extremely limited income, and this is one of the cheapest places I could find and so knowing that I may have to leave here in a few weeks I don't know where I'm going to go because rent is so expensive."
The owner and manager of the property is Tom Beara. He admits to being behind on rent and claims it's because of renovations and people not paying rent, "Some bills you let go and some bills you pay, ya know? It's cash flow," Beara says.
In similar scenarios, the city would only allow ten days for the bill to be paid in full, but because of the situation, it was extended until the 31st of January. The city's finance director Rebecca Davis says, "We extended it to the end of the month so that the people who are currently residing in the motel can find another option for where to live."
However, Beara says he doesn't owe four months worth of water bills, only two, "There was two months where I had zero bill due." Which Davis says is wrong, "An operating motel has never once had a month where it did not have a water bill."