Building inspector has no reservations about checking out hotel conditions

Aug 24, 2021

For some time, Building Commissioner Joe Braga found that the town’s hotels and motels had faced very few inspections.

Since his appointment to the position in January, Braga is now working to ensure those buildings are up to code and safe for those staying there by reaching out to the town’s hotels and motels and conducting on-site inspections.

“That’s what I look for, to make sure these rooms are safe for these residents,” he said at an Aug. 23 Select Board meeting.

These inspections, Braga said, are done in conjunction with the Dartmouth Police Department and the town’s Board of Health.

So far, Braga said the team has inspected the Baymont and Residence Inn on Faunce Corner Road.

The inspections were conducted on May 4. Braga noted that they primarily looked to see if rooms had working smoke and carbon dioxide detectors 

He said the two buildings are up-to-date in terms of life safety standards, with only minor issues.

“Some broken windows, things along that nature,” he said.

Select Board Chair Shawn McDonald praised Braga for taking action on the issue.

“We need to get this done on a priority basis,” he said. “It’s a little disheartening to find out the inspections weren’t being done, I am glad they are being done.”

One of the biggest issues McDonald would like to see tackled is with conditions at the motels along Route 6.

A big concern, he said, was with the lack of services provide for any people without stable housing — something the Select Board chair said leads to more unwanted foot traffic and potential accidents along State Road.

“You have them in basically a motel room with no kitchen facilities,” McDonald said. “Other than a bathroom and sink, [there’s] no real sanitary facility — there’s no access to laundry, no access to supplies.”

Another concern is with lessening the amount of calls police officers have to respond to.

“Every time I go home...there’s a cruiser at one of these places,” McDonald said.

Braga said that owners have so far been cooperative with his inspections, but he is still waiting on a few more sites to check out.

“Best Western, Dartmouth Inn, and Moby Dick Motel are next on the list,” Braga said. “I’m working on getting in them.”