“Hoping for a Miracle” - Order to Vacate Presque Isle Inn to be Upheld Despite Winter Storm
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -
The clock is ticking for former employees of the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center, as the order to vacate the property remains in effect for 3PM Friday Afternoon. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has the story.
“It’s like he painted a pretty picture and we got sucked into it” says Tina Whiddecombe, Former Night Desk Manager for the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center.
“Considering all this, do you feel like you’ve been taken advantage of?”
“Absolutely, we all have.” says Whiddecombe.
Whiddecombe, says she believes that once the Inn was no longer receiving funds from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program owner Cang Quach lost interest in maintaining the business.
“He made good money on ACAP and he should have looked out for us.”
WAGM previously interviewed the owner of the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center, Cang Quach, in February of 2022, shortly after he purchased the property.
“What happens with business owners is if we can’t pass it on to consumers then we eat it. And if we can’t eat it, we shutdown, so yeah.”
“He spent two months in Vietnam with his family, but you don’t have the money to fix the sprinkler system″ says Maurice Womack, Former Head of Maintenance
“All I know is Tim St. Peter condemned it. We were on fire watch for a sprinkler system that was about to be repaired and he won’t let us do that now. But we had been doing it for two weeks and it was okay. He said if we stay here longer than 3 oclock Friday we all will be charged with Criminal Trespassing and arrested” says Whiddecombe.
“There’s quite a bit of deferred maintenance with that said, I’m just trying to bring that sexy back” - Cang Quach – Owner, Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center
WAGM reached out to the City of Presque Isle who declined an interview, leaning on a statement released early Wednesday and further stating “we have nothing new to add”. Despite the begging of the former employees for an exception given the winter storm that is predicted, City officials maintain the order to vacate effective 3 PM Friday afternoon. The former employees feel as though the hearts of city officials are as cold as the ice that fills the parking lot.
“We didn’t ask for this, we weren’t part of the melee or the chaos that was here during the summer. We were employees, we’re human, we have families, and we’re screwed.” says Womack.
“Just shut up on facebook and leave it alone for now. Let everybody grieve, let everybody figure their stuff out.” says Kammie Ferguson, Former Asst. General Manager.
“I’m just like everybody else, we’re just hoping for a miracle. Friday at 3 PM is not a lot of time for us to get our stuff out, a lot of us have animals that are part of our family and there is not a lot of housing in this area. If anybody can help us, please reach out somehow” says Whiddecombe.
WAGM reached out to both ACAP and Homeless Services of Aroostook. According to Lisa McLaughlin, CEO of Homeless Services of Aroostook, there are 5 beds available at the shelter. 1 Family room with 3 beds, and 2 beds in the low barrier housing, one male and one female. The shelter operates a warming shelter that can sleep 10 people on a first come first serve basis, and children are not allowed. ACAP provided WAGM with the following statement “A customized plan has been made for each individual or family Unit, utilizing HSA, and warming center. At 3:00 tomorrow everyone will have a customized, individualized plan for a short term solution with ongoing support being offered to extend long term options”. According to the former employees, they intend to remain on the property until 3PM, and despite the fact that they face being literally thrown out into the cold, they continue to hope for a miracle.
Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8
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