Seniors express concerns over building

Another public hearing will be held today to further discuss issues surrounding the new senior center building in Portales.

A hearing was held Thursday in the county courthouse to announce the completion of the new Los Abuelitos Senior Center building on West Fir Street and take questions and concerns from any members of the public concerning the Community Development Block Grant project.

Several seniors complained about the lack of room in the new facility.

"We thought we were going to have more things to do at the new building," said senior Dolores Gutierrez, adding that there is not enough room for any additional activities to what they already have, Bingo and pool with an occasional dance.

"Lately, it's getting to where they don't have anything for us to do," she said. "And they don't notify us of what is going on half the time."

Along with lack of size, a bigger concern with the building is poor construction, according to La Casa chief executive officer Seferino Montano, who said a gap between the buildings outer walls and the cement on the ground allowed dust to blow in all over the floor.

"They built that building in a matter that was not up to specs and I went to another architectural firm who agreed with me that it was not up to specs," Montano said, declining to say who he consulted. "That is a total disregard to the community and the people who pay for that building. I do believe the county should spend money to have it inspected. If they don't, it's a total disregard for taxpayer money."

Roosevelt County owns the buildings, which house non-profit organization La Casa Family Health Center and its senior center, including the new building.

The county paid for $234,000 of the $734,000 project with the rest being provided by Community Development Block Grant funds, issued by the state through local non-profit organization Eastern Plains Council of Government (EPCOG).

County officials did not return messages seeking comment.

  • What: County public hearing
  • When: 1 p.m. today
  • Where: Commission Room in the Roosevelt County Courthouse
  • To discuss: Concerns with CDBG senior center project

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