Home Opinion Dear Editor Letter: City displays ‘a hypocritical attitude’ with RAC fees

Letter: City displays ‘a hypocritical attitude’ with RAC fees

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

After 37 years the Pecos Valley Quilters are being forced to give up their weekly meetings at the Roswell Adult Center (RAC). Formed in 1983, the guild met regularly in Room 22 with the goals of furthering the art and education of quilting and quilt making in its many forms and to be of service to the community.

Member numbers ranged from an average of 25 to 35 in the early years to a maximum of 125. Recent membership is about 45. A nominal annual fee was charged by the RAC totaling over $15,400 paid through the years. In addition, more than $6,900 was spent by the guild for improvements to Room 22 to upgrade electrical capacity, install storage cabinets and more.

Our charity quilts committee, Quilters from the Heart, creates and donates over 100 quilts annually to local organizations including CASA, the Assurance Home, Habitat for Humanity, and even individuals impacted by tragic events. When the RAC was shut down in the spring of 2020 it was promised by the prior recreation director that the city would honor fees paid for 2021 when things opened back up. Now under new management this promise has been set aside and we were not informed of the rate increase until we received a bill.

The city of Roswell is now charging $40 per hour for use of Room 22 or $240 per day. This is not affordable! By contrast, pool (billiards) players are charged $1 per day or $10 per month for use of the billiards room.

For a city that promoted itself as a good place for seniors, with lots of opportunities for seniors to get involved, meet new people, and learn new skills, this is a hypocritical attitude. The RAC facility is now under utilized and not being promoted to its best capacity. It sits empty most days. Most residents probably don’t even know that it exists or that it is open again. Facility managers are doing little or nothing to create new classes or recruit potential instructors.

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After several meetings with the city’s General Services Department and facility management, the city refuses to budge on their outrageous fees and even consider “grandfathering” lower costs to a long-time supporter of the RAC. Needless to say, the Pecos Valley Quilters will be moving. When a new, affordable location is established it will be publicized and all will continue to be welcomed.

Officers of the Pecos Valley Quilters are Leslie Andrews, president; Ann Dunn, vice president; Rhonda Connolly, treasurer; Alexis Swoboda, secretary; and Carolyn Mitchell, Quilters from the Heart.