Posted at: 02/14/2013 6:02 PM
Updated at: 02/15/2013 11:38 AM
By: Bill Lambdin
SCHOHARIE - A bright yellow sign has been affixed to the entrance of the Timothy Murphy Bar at the Parrot House for the last ten days.
A cease and desist notice from the Schoharie County Health Department was posted, ordering the tavern closed until various requirements were met, although a Health Department official contends the sign was removed and drinks served on at least three occasions since the closing order went up.
"It's one of the largest buildings in the village," said Parrott House owner Dave McSweeney. "They should be working with me to open. Not trying to shut the lights off."
Dave McSweeney bought the Parrott House in 2010, which has operated for most of the last 143 years in the center of the village of Schoharie.
Like almost every other business, the Parrott House was heavily damaged in the flood 18 months ago.
McSweeney says he's spent 230-thousand dollars on repairs.
He'd like officials to cut him some more slack.
The officials say after 18 months it's time to start complying with codes.
The Deputy Director of the County Health Department, Ian Feinstein, says they ordered the closing because McSweeney was operating without a permit and owed 375 dollars for kitchen code fines and a 200 dollar permit fee.
But when that cease and desist order went up, officials say it also triggered a Certificate of Occupancy inspection requirement from the Village.
Village Inspector Joseph Whipple told me by phone he found seven code issues, including electrical inspection, smoke and fire alarms, operating sprinkler and carbon monoxide detectors.
McSweeney has since complied with most of what Whipple found wrong but says he's obtaining a lawyer to pursue legal action.