The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Rec center debate dominates Portales City Council meeting

 


PORTALES — The public input portion of Tuesday's Portales City Council meeting turned contentious as citizens sought answers from the council regarding Portales' interest in turning the city's recreation center into an entertainment venue, leaving the future of the rec center's current programs in limbo.

More than 10 people addressed the council on the subject, wondering why the after-school and summer programs currently offered at the rec center could potentially be discontinued and what other options the city is pursuing.

"My question is just what are we doing to relocate this or are we just completely shutting this program down, leaving 70-plus children without anywhere to go during the day," Cristin Stewart said.

City Manager Sammy Standefer said the city's recreation programs need to change due to liabilities associated with the recreation center building and the programs themselves, specifically transporting children.

Citizens expressed displeasure about a seeming lack of forethought regarding the future of the rec center programs before the city announced its plans in a letter last month.

"My main concern is there hasn't been a contingency plan prior to sending us into a panic," Amaliea McCubbins said.

Standefer said the city's sports programs would not be discontinued and that the current summer program is not in any danger this year.

Councilor Jessica Smith said the city's ultimate goal would be to expand the recreation offerings and reach a wider range of people beyond the approximately 70 children currently making use of the programs.

No action was taken on the issue.

 

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