1st Street inspections already making a difference in Yakima

1st Street inspections already making a difference in Yakima
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima's crackdown on problem motels along North First Street is almost finished. KIMA was there as inspectors found violations at the Red Carpet Motel Tuesday. There are two motels left to be checked.

It all started at the Yakima Inn. A motel flooded with police calls and code violations.

Same goes for several others along North 1st Street. Wiring and a list of other problems hotel managers are required to fix.

Police were forced to step up at the Red Carpet Inn when a guest refused to step out. No one was arrested this time, but 2012 was a different story. Police were called here 90 times. Several other motels along North 1st Street have even higher numbers.

We asked, "Do you see that number going down in 2013?"

"Oh definitely," said Officer Rich Fowler. "That's what this thing is. When we started the inspections, that was the hope and goal, to get it cleaned up."

Officer Rich Fowler and Code Enforcement Manager Joe Caruso say you can already see improvements both on paper and in person.

Rules for signs are being enforced and prostitution stings helped reduce police calls. But, will it last? What about those safety concerns?

"They will all continue to be monitored and after, we'll offer classes to help educate the owners and landlords," said Fowler.

"We will definitely be doing spot checks to these locations," said Caruso.

A surprise visit to make sure the motels on North 1st Street are staying in line.

Code enforcers tell us the educational classes for owners will likely be held in June. The inspections will wrap up next week.