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City plans to open adult center when possible

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In a short virtual public forum plagued by audio problems, a Roswell city official said the city is still planning to reopen the Roswell Adult Center when health orders allow.

Questions about the adult center opening and if it was still in the budget to do were asked during the live portion of the virtual forum. Other questions were answered in a pre-recorded video from City Manager Joe Neeb. He has hosted the previous two forums live, but was unable to do so Thursday.

The pre-recorded video is available for viewing on the city’s YouTube channel and the city manager’s page on the city website. Recordings of the previous virtual forums can be found on each site as well.

In his video, Neeb addressed topics such as hours for the city dump, storm drainage on Main Street, access to public meetings and the city’s budget goals for 2021.

At times, the audio portion of Neeb’s presentation dropped entirely or was unclear.

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Deputy City Manager Mike Mathews, hosting the live portion of the forum, said it was the first time the city used a pre-recorded presentation in virtual meeting software GoToMeeting.

The software showed 12 to 15 people viewing or listening to the meeting by phone throughout the meeting, which lasted a little over a half hour. At least five city employees and two Roswell City Council members — Ward 3 Councilors Judy Stubbs and Jeanine Best — were among those.

Mathews fielded the questions about the adult center. He said the city does plan to open the center when the state allows and the center is accounted for in the 2021 budget.

He said the city is in frequent contact with the New Mexico Department of Health, both face-to-face and in conference calls.

The city is “trying to plan ahead of whatever restrictions may be placed on us, watching the numbers on a daily basis and trying to figure out what’s the best move,” he said.

“One of the things we don’t want to do is get something opened up and then the next week we have to close it,” he said.

“We know that’s a vital service. I know that our seniors enjoy an adult center, and we want to get that thing open again as soon as possible,” he said.

Mathews also brought in Marcos Nava, head of the 2020 Complete Count Committee, to talk about the U.S. Census. Nava said the city is at a 62% response rate on filling out the Census.

“Right now we should be at 100%,” he said.

“Every resident that responds means money to us,” he said, about $37,450 per person.

There are various sites in the community where people can go to get assistance in filing out the Census, he said, including City Hall, the Hispano Chamber of Commerce and the public library.

Census takers are now going to the homes of those who have not yet responded, Nava said.

“Please be kind to them, respond to them,” he said.

Census takers will ask only 10 questions and will not ask for personal information such as Social Security or credit card numbers, he said.

The next virtual public forum will be at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 17 with the Roswell Air Center and economic development as the topics.

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