UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- On Facebook, Fred wanted an update on the Sweden House Lodge. You probably remember it was condemned by city inspectors for some serious code violations. The hotel is still not safe to re-open but the city tells us it has not been abandoned.
The motel’s owner has hired an attorney and they’re still in contact with city inspectors about some of the work that needs to be done.
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UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Work on the historic Sweden House Lodge has come to a standstill. Local contractors ay they’re still not getting paid to bring the motel back up to code.
It’s been more than three weeks since the motel was condemned for serious code violations. Contractors fixed some of the city’s complaints, but stopped working when the owner refused to pay them for their part. City inspectors say they haven’t had a reason to head back to the motel.
We’re told they could take action against the owner as soon as next week.
Updated: March 21st, 2013
ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Rockford’s Sweden House Lodge remains condemned, but that’s not the only problem owners have to worry about. Local contractors are protesting the State Street Hotel because they say they haven’t been paid for their work.
These contractors say they worked all week to install new water heaters and vents. Now they’re demanding to be paid for their services. Workers say owners won’t pay them until the city allows the hotel to re-open. However, that can’t happen until remaining mechanical and plumbing issues are fixed.
“Times are hard to begin with and when you spend time and effort and you have nothing to show for it, that puts a dent in our pockets you know. It’s hard to pay mortgage and put food on the table, “ said plumber Rafael Vaszquez.
We reached out to the owners for comment, but did not hear back. City inspectors tell us the owners are still planning to fix remaining issues so they can re-open.
Posted: March 15th, 2013
ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- It's not clear when The Sweden House will open its doors again. Even after a city inspection Friday, the East State Street hotel hasn't been cleared to re-open, and we’re told that's not the only issue owners have to deal with.
“How long has this problem been at the Sweden house?" Larry Upchurch just paid $900 to stay at Rockford’s Sweden House last month. Now he's struggling to find a new home.
“I put every dime I had in there and now to get this slap in my face, I think it's unfair," said Upchurch.
He says the manager only gave him $120 back, since the building was condemned last week. Upchurch isn't the only one demanding money.
“They refuse to pay us so we refuse to have the inspectors inspect our work," said Jim Holder.
Jim holder is one of the contractors who worked overtime all week to fix safety issues in Sweden House. That includes installing new water heaters and air conditioning units. Holder says the owner owes him $1800 and refuses to pay him for his work until the city allows the Sweden House to re-open.
"I’m really surprised that from what we went through and what the city went through that they actually closed the door on us today," said Upchurch.
City inspectors say the building will remain closed until the hotel's heating and plumbing issues are resolved.
"They never mentioned this was a problem," said Upchurch.
But now it is a problem for Upchurch, who remains out of luck and out of a home.
We reached out to the owner and manager of Sweden House, but neither would offer any comment. If the contractors aren't paid by Monday, we're told they are planning to take legal action against the owner.