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People living without water at closed Fairview Lodge in Minot

(KFYR)
Published: Jun. 28, 2019 at 8:48 PM CDT
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Residents on Minot's east side have been living without water service to their apartment for the past two weeks.

Only thing—it's not a real apartment.

The roughly 20 or so residents are living in the now-abandoned Fairview Lodge Motel, just across from the State Fairgrounds.

We're told some have been paying as much as $500 a month to live in poor conditions.

The incident came to light thanks in part to concern from members of the public about the conditions of the building, and more so the people living there and their neighbors.

Your News Leader spoke with residents and with the city of Minot to find out what's being done about it.

A 'for sale' sign sits in front of what once was the Fairview Lodge motel in Minot, but don't tell that Juliana Beeter. She's been living there for the past two months as a permanent tenant. Now, she's ready to get out.

“It's been so frustrating I've been leaving my home to go stay with friends, that's what I've been doing. I've been coming periodically back here to check and see if my property's still here,” said Beeter.

Beeter says she moved in for a more affordable rent, but things have taken a turn for the worse. Two weeks ago her water was turned off, forcing her to rely on loved ones for bottled water.

“I'm using a bucket to flush my toilet,” said Beeter, when asked how she’s using the restroom without water.

The issue became the talk of Minot social media with this post from area resident Tina Baker, urging city leaders to take action.

“They're operating as an apartment. That's a motel. They're zoned for a motel. They should be being used as a motel, not a permanent living situation,” said Derek Hackett, with City of Minot Public Information.

Hackett says that Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma is well aware of the situation, and while they have to allow for the property owner to try to fix the issue, eventually they would have to take corrective action.

“We're trying to give them the proper time to respond, but if we don't hear from them soon, we have to take corrective action,” said Hackett.

“I'm not sure yet. We have to talk about that as a group,” he said, when asked what the action would entail.

Beeter says her property manager, a man named Zeb Ziesemer, packed up his belongings and split.

"He doesn't seem to give a damn. he seems to be moving out in a sneak, sneaking his stuff out of here, I noticed,” said Beeter.

Beeter's says she's already looking for a new place to live.

The city says First District Health Unit has been on scene.

Minot Police say they respond to the location for a number of issues, but could not comment on specifics.

We also reached out to Ward County Social Services, who said they typically handle cases on an individual basis, but would have to respond if called on by police.

Your News Leader did a little digging to try to learn more about the apparent property manager that Juliana Beeter referred to in the story.

Zebulin Ziesemer, or "Zeb," has a pair of open property theft cases out of Ward County.

We don't know much else about the man.

We did reach out to him over Facebook for comment on the situation at Fairview, and haven't gotten a response.