Hotel Building in Benton Condemned, Tenants Forced out

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BENTON -- People who live at the Hotel Hess building in Benton, Columbia County are in shock.

Some have already moved out of their apartments on Main Street. Others have not even begun to pack their things.

"If I get throwed out, [I'll] go to my mother's 'til I get some place to go," said tenant Joe Hess.

The building was condemned this week.

County housing officials said the place is infested with bedbugs and there may be other problems, too.

They said there have been ongoing issues with the building for years and this is the final straw.

"I'm disabled and I have to get out of here and I don't know where to go. I've got very little family left and they can't help me. I don't know what to do," said tenant Millard Kreamer.

There are about a dozen people who live at the building, a place some locals call "the hotel."

Some told Newswatch 16 their apartments were fine. Others say they know about the bedbug infestation and have the bites to prove it.

"I'm gonna use the money in my savings and probably stay down at the bed and breakfast and I guess that's the way it's gonna be," said Louis DeLuca, another resident who called the condemnation "emotional."

The head of the Columbia County Housing Authority said for those people who do not have family to stay with or some other location to go, county officials will work with them to try to get them the services they need when they have to get out.

"I'm just like disgusted because I feel as though they shouldn't have to move out so fast, you know? There's kids, there's babies, and where they gonna put their food? Where are they gonna put their furniture? It's sickening. It's really sickening," said Kevin Brown of Benton.

Newswatch 16 tried to contact the owner of the building, but was unsuccessful.

The tenants have been told to be out by midnight Friday night.

12 comments

  • Denise

    Completely correct Chris…. and now can we please take the Halloween decorations down? This eyesore is not bad enough but each holiday you get to drive up main street and view the tacky attempts at decorating. Ohhh and I bet the Bed and Breakfast can not wait to take people in and risk an infestation…..

  • CjLaubach

    Bed bugs have nothing to do with being dirty. They are just human fleas they can get into your house from you having birds nests on your porch they can spread from the house next door. They are extremely hard to get rid of and they are becoming an huge issue everywhere.

      • CjLaubach

        No just someone who is educated in the matter, because of a college paper that had to be done that’s all. Its actually interesting these bugs have evolved an immunity to what was used to exterminate them in the early 1900’s when it was an epidemic before. In an apartment building it only takes one person to carry them in from used furniture or being somwhere that had them to take over a while building. So to say that everyone in the building is “filthy” or “dirty” is a bit ignornant.

  • Claire Moran

    If the residents simply move out with all their belongings, the infestation of bedbugs will spread to everywhere they go. Bedbugs get into everything not just beds. It seems like forcing a rapid move and allowing residents to take everything with them before it is treated is multiplying the problem significantly. The rest of the community should be concerned.

  • Scrn-Tony

    Filthy buildings attract filthy people! I have no doubt that tenants that dont care about cleanliness dont care about good morals either. bull doze that building down and build a library or a police station to repel these dirtbags!

  • Discusted living in Fairmount.

    Not to far from Benton in Luzerne County in Fairmount township there is several homes that should be torn down and the township won’t do anything.Example of what should be torn down,a foundation of a home has fallen down.Being help up by bulldozers and the front porch THERE ARE ADULTS LIVING IN THIS HOME TO .Several other homes and the township won’t do anything nor will the county.
    If anybody out there knows who might help please cause our township won’t do anything as they all live the same way.

  • Chris

    This isn’t a sob story. They should’ve interviewed other people in the community about that hotel and what else goes on there. Best thing to happen to this community in a long time!

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