A motel on Government Boulevard has drawn the ire of nearby residents over issues they say have been largely ignored by officials.
Residents have responded to what they see as “blight” and other issues at the Crest Motel by creating a petition online asking the city to fix the problems. The petition has roughly 3,000 signatures. Glen Perry, president of the Crestview Community Action Group, said the motel has been an “ongoing issue for many years.”
“It keeps degrading and degrading,” he said.
Perry said the motel is an eyesore and home to a number of sex offenders. According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency website, the address has at least four sex offenders currently.
“Government Boulevard is a corridor to Mobile,” Perry said. “The area used to look nice. If you take the scenic route now it’s not very scenic.”
In a letter Perry plans to present to the mayor and City Council following the election, he wrote that something has to be done.
“We, the undersigned residents of the Skyline Community Area are speaking out to protect our families and our communities from the motel that has added serious blight and invited a criminal element to the area,” he wrote. “This continues to grow worse with each passing day and now is the time we beg for action.”
Perry has given credit to Councilman John Williams, the area’s representative, for trying to clean up the area. He said even the councilman has “hit brick walls.”
Williams said his office is committed to doing all he can to clear up the issues.
“People say ‘I don’t want that in my neighborhood,’” Williams said. “It’s unsightly, at best. It is a residence for those who’ve had serious run-ins with law enforcement.”
Williams pledged that it would be a goal if he’s re-elected to clear up the issues there.
The letter supports Williams’ efforts to clean up the area.
“Our councilman, John Williams, has been a tremendous help in Crestview, Skyland and his district, albeit even his hands are tied on certain matters,” Perry wrote. “Various high-profile departments have been alerted to our continuing requests for help but have not offered any viable solutions. Hopefully, this extensive petition will show that we are a very concerned community.”
One obstacle Perry referred to was the Mobile County Health Department. The department normally inspects hotels and motels, but the Crest is considered an apartment complex, which is outside MCHD’s purview, according to a statement from Dr. Stephanie Woods-Crawford, who oversees the Bureau of Environmental Health and Preparedness.
Donna Feeney, a member of the Southern Skyline Community Action Group, said it has been a struggle to get blight cleaned up in the area.
“We’ve been dealing with this for years,” Feeney said. “It has been very difficult … to get anybody to help. Something just really needs to be done.”
Recently, however, Feeney said city departments have begun listening, specifically urban development.
Lagniappe made two phone calls to the Crest Motel seeking comment for this story. The first call ended with a busy signal and the second call ended with a disconnection notice.