Value Motel appeal hearing set for Jan. 3

Health law judge will review state’s plan to revoke its license

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter


Updated: September 21, 2011, 6:01 PM



Previously: A Washington State Department of Health inspection revealed several deficiencies at the Value Motel. A follow-up inspection showed the deficiencies hadn’t been corrected, so the department announced its intent to revoke the motel’s operating license. Owner Milton O. Brown appealed the decision.

What’s new: An appeal hearing before a health law judge has been scheduled for Jan. 3. The motel can continue to operate in the meantime.

What’s next: Brown and the state will present their cases before the health law judge, who will decide whether to revoke the license or allow the motel to stay open.

The Value Motel has gotten a reprieve through the holidays.

Owner Milton O. Brown in August appealed the Washington State Department of Health’s decision to revoke the motel’s operating license. An appeal hearing before a health law judge has been scheduled for Jan. 3, said Julie Graham, spokeswoman for the state department.

The health law judge will determine whether Brown has sufficiently taken care of the problems identified during a health department inspection and whether the problems put public health at risk and warrant a license revocation, Graham said.

The burden of proof in the appeal hearing falls to Brown, she said.

In the meantime, the motel can continue to operate.

The Value Motel has been under scrutiny by the state health department since this spring.

State health officials conducted a safety survey of the motel on March 30 and later produced a 17-page report outlining dozens of deficiencies. On June 27, Brown submitted a signed report to the state indicating that after 60 days of work, the motel’s deficiencies had been corrected.

On June 29, state health officials conducted a follow-up inspection, which revealed many of the deficiencies had not been corrected.

After the second inspection, the state health department announced its intent to revoke the Value Motel’s operating license.

The motel is also facing fines from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. The department levied $7,500 in fines against the motel in July after health and safety inspectors visited the motel June 1 and issued numerous findings.

Haresh “Harry” Patel, who leases the motel, appealed the violations and asked for a reduction in the fine amount. The appeal hearing took place Aug. 17.

The hearings officer has until Oct. 7 to issue a written decision in that case.

Marissa Harshman:;;; 360-735-4546.