PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC)– City leaders have sought out the help of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality as they pursue efforts to demolish or abatement the old Ramada Inn.

The building was constructed in 1973 at 380 E. Washington Street as a Ramada Inn. According to City Attorney Anthony C. Williams, the hotel was once operated as one of the city’s premier hotel properties. It eventually fell into disrepair. Chunks of the structure are falling off, it’s covered in graffiti and there are gaping holes.

In March, the Petersburg Property Maintenance Official, Brad Shupp, issued a “Repair or Demolish Notice” to the owner of the property, Christopher A. Harrison.

On April 23, City Attorney Williams, wrote a letter to DEQ for an approval of the City of Petersburg’s proposal. Williams, along with Petersburg Mayor Samuel Parham, State Senataor Joseph Morrissey, Delegate Lashrecse Aird and City Councilmembers have proposed a partnership with Meridian Waste Acquisitions, LLC.

Earlier this month, City Council declared the property a “blighted property” and a “public nuisance to the community.” City Council directed the City Manager and City Attorney to tell the owner of the hotel, Christopher A. Harrison, to remove it.

Mayor Parham and Senator Morrissey contacted the local waste contractor’s representatives from Meridian.

However, the company has two pending cases in court in relation to the Tri-Cities Landfill, based on alleged violations of the solid waste management permit and associated regulations. According to the City Attorney, CFS has now agreed to close the landfill and the agreement has been approved by DEQ.

In the letter written to DEQ, city leaders are seeking permission to hire Meridian for abatement/demolition services on the old Ramada hotel to resolve the cases and either act as an offset or replacement of a civil charge. Meridian would provide services for no charge to the city.

Williams calls Meridian’s potential services a “game changer.”

“This gesture would be very meaningful to the City of Petersburg as it would not only
serve to help rid the City of an extremely dangerous condition and nuisance, but it would also
enable the City to address an issue that would otherwise stretch if not entirely break the City’s
finances. The City of Petersburg has struggled over the years to reach financial stability, and
only recently have we gotten to the point where it seems that we may be getting things back on
track and moving forward in a positive direction.”

Petersburg City Attorney Anthony C. Willams