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Former Town and Country Motel site subject of arbitration

READ MORE: Former Town and Country Motel site subject of arbitration
The fate of a prominent piece of property in downtown Belville was the subject of debate in federal court Monday. The Town and Country Motel burned down nearly a year ago, and its owner wants to keep the land. The town of Belville has other plans leaders discussed at a planning meeting Monday night. Last October the motel was destroyed in a fire, and more than six months ago Belville demolished the charred remains. "Now that it is a grass field so to speak I can't tell you what a relief its been not only from my position, but also the residents of the town," Belville Mayor, David Long said. The motel was known as a hot-bed for criminal activity and a breeding ground for crime. It's owner Sidney Boney has been in jail since just before the fire, on charges ranging from drug trafficking to prostitution. Town officials say since Boney's been in custody crime has dropped significantly and resdients agree. "People seem to be more safer than before and uh, they're out more," Daniel Foy said. Now the question is: What will happen to the land where The Town and Country Motel once stood? The answer will be decided in federal court. Boney wants to keep the land but the town wants it to be used as part of a massive revitalization. Belville Mayor David Long says plans are to build a mixed-use residential/commercial building there. Whatever happens, town leaders say they're happy the motel is gone. "I guess I'd be the first one leading the charge to say how grateful I am that that property is no longer an issue, if you will, for the town," Mayor Long said. Arbitration continues in federal court Tuesday. Boney's criminal trail isn't until November. One prosecutor told NewsChannel 3 nine other people have been arrested since the fire last year in connection to illegal activity at The Town and Country Motel.

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