Official says move would provide better oversight

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FARMINGTON — The city of Farmington may move its winter wet shelter to the campus where the Sobering Center and Joint Intervention Program are housed.

The Roof is open for five months in the winter. During those months, the number of people using the Sobering Center decreases because many of them choose to go to The Roof instead.

The City Council discussed the proposed relocation during a work session Tuesday morning. The meeting and related documents can be viewed online at fmtn.org.

Assistant city manager Julie Baird said having The Roof at the same campus as the Sobering Center would help better distribute people between the two services and provide better oversight.

The city is looking at using federal Community Development Block Grant funds to pay for the potential relocation of The Roof. It estimates it would cost about $130,000 to acquire two portable buildings from the Farmington Municipal School District and relocate them to the campus where the Sobering Center is located.

The city is receiving more than $353,000 in federal CDBG funds, and about $229,000 can be used for capital projects in the city.

The portable buildings would provide a place for intoxicated people to sleep, but they would not have restroom facilities.

Baird explained the city wants to maximize the space and capacity for The Roof. She said the Sobering Center’s restroom facilities will be available for The Roof’s clients to utilize. She said a restroom could be added between the two facilities later on.

“I like the idea of moving The Roof down to the JIP campus,” Councilor Sean Sharer said.

While he supported the proposal, Sharer said one advantage of the current location near downtown is its proximity to other services, such as free meals provided by Catholic Charities.

“Would people utilize The Roof less because they couldn’t be close to their food?” Sharer said.

The relocation of The Roof was one of two projects submitted for use of CDBG funds.

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department has requested funding for five projects that will improve accessibility and bring facilities into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The five projects total $309,000 in cost.

The largest of the projects would be an upgrade to the concessions area and bathrooms at the softball fields on Fairgrounds Road. The project is estimated to cost $101,000.

Other projects include parking lot upgrades at the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center, Civitan Park, the exterior of the Sycamore Park Community Center and the Farmington Recreation Center.

PRCA director Cory Styron said he would prioritize upgrades at the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center, which would cost $90,100.

The City Council supported using the CDBG funds to acquire the portables to relocate The Roof. The additional money would be used for the upgrades at the various facilities, prioritizing the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

 

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