Protests, travelers take aim at West Carthage inn

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 5:53 PM EDT
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WEST CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) - A New Hampshire couple that booked a Memorial Day weekend trip to the Pleasant Night Inn is hoping their vacation is one they won’t have to remember.

Pat Collins and her husband stayed at the West Carthage motel, booking their stay through a third-party site.

They were unaware of its recent history, or that it was being used to house individuals through Social Services and the Department of Corrections.

Collins says along with a constant smell of marijuana smoke, she and her husband were confronted on multiple occasions by motel residents - interactions that caused the couple to check out a night early from the motel.

“We didn’t feel safe, we didn’t feel comfortable. We weren’t sure when we came out the next morning if my Highlander was going to have all the windows still in it. I don’t want a family to go to that hotel and mom and dad say to their 8-year-old kid, yeah, you can go down the hall and get some ice,” she said.

In response to these complaints, management and ownership at the Pleasant Night Inn say they are trying to provide housing for people who need it in the north country - saying there’s nowhere else for them to go.

That said, the West Carthage community has been openly unhappy with registered sex offenders being housed so close to Getman Park and held a meeting about it Thursday night.

“It was a really good turnout. There were over 50 people there that had a lot of questions and concerns,” said West Carthage Mayor Scott Burto.

The concern is the future of the Pleasant Night Inn and the residents placed there by Social Services and the Department of Corrections.

“They’re worried about summer recreation and their kids at the playground,” said Burto.

Along with concerns about safety, residents wanted answers from Jefferson County.

“How does the commissioner or anyone at DSS feel it’s safe to place sex offenders that close to the playground. How do we change the process if we can’t change the law,” said Burto.

One West Carthage resident protested near the motel Friday. Jamie Corradini says placing some of these individuals there is unsafe.

“There is only so much motion that can start in terms of getting this corrected. Everyone wants a quick fix, but things have to get done in a certain order, at a certain time, by certain people,” said Corradini.

“This is an issue that we’re not going to accept here in West Carthage. We’re going to let you know, and we’re going to let the general public know,” said Burto.

We spoke with the owners and the manager of the Pleasant Night Inn. They both reiterated that they are simply trying to help the unhoused of Jefferson County. They do not want to have continued conflict with either elected officials or the residents of West Carthage.

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