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East Main Lodging House Owner Addressing Health Code Issues

Selectmen set Oct. 31 deadline for completion of work.

A Westborough lodging house owner has addressed "approximately 90 percent" of the health code violations that the Worcester Housing Court has ordered him to correct by Oct. 31, his attorney told selectmen Tuesday night.

Rasheed Warab has implemented a 24-hour cleaning service at 8 East Main St., and plans to install tile at the 13-unit site by week's end, Peter Kachajian Jr. said.

During a public hearing on the matter, selectmen voted 4-0 to require all violations to be corrected by Oct. 31. Otherwise, Warab's lodging house license will be suspended Nov. 1 until all violations are corrected to the satisfaction of health, building and fire departments.

"I think the schedule seems reasonable. You have the assurances of our building commissioner that that will not be an excuse," Selectman George Barrette said.

Selectmen scheduled Tuesday night's hearing after Director of Public Health Paul McNulty said Warab failed to satisfactorily address health code violations raised during two inspections this summer.

After the re-inspection, health officials then obtained a Worcester Housing Court order to substantially correct the issues and "keep the place clean" by Oct. 31, McNulty said Tuesday night.

Building Commissioner Tin Htway said Warab has made "quite a bit" of progress, and is cooperating with town officials.

Kachajian said that Warab had intended "to do some of this well before some of this happened," but some contractors slowed his progress.

"A few items" require building permits, he noted.

"I have to say, approximately 90 percent of what has been required has been completed," Kachajian said.

Selectmen Chairman Leigh Emery said that "I'm very glad to hear that you're towing the line."

That said, conditions were "really quite horrible" there, she said. Emery questioned how Warab could "allow tenants to live in such dreadful conditions for so long."

"It was reallt quite disturbing to see the photographs," she said.

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