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Committee approves agreement with Boys & Girls Club

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The General Services Committee has approved a scope of services agreement with the local Boys and Girls Club at 201 S. Garden Ave. Pictured are Marla Gonzales, Natasha Welt (unit director of the Boys & Girls Club) and James Delaney, Bill Brewer, Jeff Rueffer, Gary Burnet and Liz Rogers from this past autumn. (File Photo)

A three-year scope of services agreement, with an amendment to increase funding, was approved between the city of Roswell and the local unit of Boys & Girls Club (BGC).

City councilors on the General Services Committee, Savino Sanchez, Juan Oropesa and Jacob Roebuck approved the measure with a vote of 3 to 0 at Wednesday afternoon’s meeting. Councilor Angela Moore was not present.

Before this vote, Oropesa made a motion to amend the measure to increase the amount of the city’s financial support for the club from $20,000 to $32,000 and for the club to be invoiced quarterly. Oropesa said it didn’t make sense to him that the city would give $20,000 to the club and then charge rent from that amount for the city-owned facility (at 201 S. Garden Ave.) totaling to $12,000 per year ($1,000 per month). Oropesa’s amendment also passed 3 to 0.

For the city’s financial consideration, Finance Director Monica Garcia said during discussion at the meeting, the city will have to look for a budget amendment to be approved in a resolution by the City Council to give the club $32,000 — although the $20,000 is already budgeted. Showing support of the measure, Councilor Roebuck said he spoke with City Manager Joe Neeb who shared he was confident it would be possible for the city to find the remaining $12,000 within the city’s budget.

Tim Coughlin, executive director of the BGC of Sierra Blanca, and Jim Matteucci, chair of the BGC board, represented the Roswell BGC. Councilor Barry Foster, vice chair for the BGC board, was also present. Foster said if the city chose to provide $20,000 — the club would only have $8,000 after rent. Before 2016, Foster said $32,000 was budgeted and paid to the club by the city.

The agreement was presented by Elizabeth Gilbert, the city’s director of administrative services, to the city’s General Services Committee on Wednesday afternoon. Gilbert said in the past, there was no formal agreement and that this would allow the city to financially support the club’s various services for local youth, while complying with state laws. For the scope of services, she said the terms and renewals were comparable to lease agreement for the club, which is a city-owned facility.

The rent is $1,000 per month and Gilbert said the club pays for utilities independently — and in addition to this amount. Coughlin said the club’s utilities cost $1,400, depending on the season.

According to the meeting’s agenda packet, BGC of Sierra Blanca in Ruidoso took over the operations, facility maintenance and programming of the local club more than a year ago. Recently, the unified clubs established local advisory councils and a board to oversee both club’s activities. Coughlin said the board and advisory councils have been considering a new name to unite both clubs and the current consideration is the “Boys and Girls Club of Chaves and Lincoln Counties.”

Coughlin also said the amount of children at the Roswell unit has increased from 23 to 60 attendees per day. He said the two locations also have 17 staff members and the annual impact report shows the clubs have 67 volunteers.

The report also states that 1,436 youths have been served — with 361 active members and 1,075 through community outreach. With the club’s free lunch program, Couglin said over 45,000 meals were served to youth, members and others at the two clubs. Coughlin said the “traction and movement” in serving the two clubs and two communities has been “amazing.”

When Councilor Oropesa questioned charging the club rent, Coughlin said the club is not objecting to the rent and having a valid lease opened more funding for the nonprofit club. James Matteucci, one of the club’s board members, said the city charging rent to the club provides an avenue for the club to qualify for more grants and other federal funding. Additionally, Foster added that the Department of Finance is not in favor of the previous agreement of charging the club $1 a year for rent. Coughlin said paying rent assisted the club in receiving the $750,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for repairs and renovations in September.

Councilor Sanchez expressed gratitude for the club and their services. In response, Coughlin said the club appreciates “the level of cooperation and the partnership with the city.”

Kevin Dillon, the city’s projects and facilities director, and Jim Burress, director of Parks and Recreation, gave updates on the Roswell Recreation & Aquatic Center. Dillon said all of the construction is on schedule for the July 1 opening.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.