Brownwood Hotel now in compliance, but fines have accrued

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
The Brownwood Hotel

The former Brownwood Hotel has been in compliance with a City of Brownwood administrative order since May 13, but the owner owes thousands of dollars in civil penalties, City Attorney Pat Chesser said.

The owner still owes a $19,500 penalty the City of Brownwood assessed earlier this year because of code violations. Additionally, penalties of $500 a day accrued over a two-month period between March 14 and May 13, Chesser said.

“The reason they were getting civil penalties is because they had not brought the hotel into compliance with the safety,” Chesser said. “Now they’ve done that. Civil penalties will not continue to accrue based on previous civil penalties. Right now they’ve stopped.

“But, they’re quite large. I didn’t add them up yet. I haven’t put pencil to paper yet but I will.”

The Building and Standards Commission assessed a $19,500 penalty against the building’s owner earlier this year for failing to address broken windows, falling glass and unsecured entry points that allow access to the building’s interior. 

The commission issued an Administrative Enforcement Order on Feb. 18 that assessed the penalty for the hazardous conditions. The commission requested “significant and substantial improvements of the conditions” within 30 days of the Feb. 18 meeting.

If the owner showed significant improvements by the 30-day time limit, the city would hold off on enforcing the fine. If the owner did not make significant progress, the city would enforce the fine plus an additional fine of $500 per day until improvements were made.

In April, the city said the building’s owner was accruing civil penalties because the issue of falling glass had not been addressed.

Since then, the owner hired contractor Randy Woody to replace the windows with screens, bringing the building into compliance.

Brown County Appraisal District records show the current owner of the building as 200 Fisk LLC. Mail to the entity goes to a residence in Woodbridge, Virginia. The woman who lives at that address, Myrna Phelps, has declined to be interviewed by the Bulletin.

The hotel opened at the corner of Fisk and Baker in downtown Brownwood in 1930, according to browncountyhistory.org.