In 2012, Hurricane city officials shut down the motel for "absolutely filthy" conditions -- bedbugs, mold, ventilation and structure concerns, according to news reports at the time.
Sangani sued the city in Putnam Circuit Court, alleging that city officials were harassing him and forcing him to make unnecessary repairs. Sangani also claimed the city's building inspector discriminated against him because he's Indian.
Three months later, the motel reopened and has stayed open. Sangani recently hired the Hurricane police chief's sister-in-law and brother-in-law, who help manage the motel.
"I don't want any crime here," Sangani said. "That's the step I have to take. We are taking precautions."
Sangani said he wants the DHHR to revise standards that require motels to shut down entire sections of rooms -- or the entire property -- because of a single meth lab incident.
DHHR investigators have responded to 28 meth lab incidents at hotels and motels in West Virginia since 2011.
"They are bringing this program, but they need some type of balance," Sangani said. "You can't expect the owner to pay. We don't have anything to do with it."
Amanda Edwards, the American Inn's manager, said the state program puts hotels and motels in a tough spot.
"It's a teeter-totter effect," Edwards said. "If we have a tip and report it, we're doing the right thing, but once you report it, you have to have it tested, and even if there's [a miniscule] amount found, we have to clean everything out."
Sangani also wants the state to mandate that commercial insurance companies sell insurance plans that cover meth lab cleanup costs. He said he would be willing to pay $5,000 more a year in insurance premiums for such coverage.
"What happens if somebody does meth? I can't find insurance," he said. "Are we just to close the door? Nobody could be in the motel business."
Last month, West Virginia legislative leaders said they would not support proposals that require insurance companies to provide meth cleanup coverage. However, Sen. Greg Tucker, D-Nicholas, and Delegate Don Perdue, D-Wayne, have introduced bills designed to reduce meth production.
Last year, law enforcement authorities seized 533 meth labs -- nearly twice as many labs as in 2012. The bills would require people to get a prescription for cold pills, such as Sudafed and Claritin-D, which contain pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient used to make illegal meth.
Sangani says he worries every night that somebody will rent a room at the American Inn and smoke or cook meth there.
"We are doing everything we can to keep any kind of drug away from this place," he said. "Why should a business like us have to pay the price? We are the victim."
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.