Citizens asked to attend meeting on whether city facilities should be improved

By DOUG MYERS Managing Editor

Officials are hoping for a large turnout tonight when a public meeting is held to discuss the need for the city of Stephenville to have a new recreational hall, senior citizen center and swimming pool.

“It’s an opportunity for the citizens of Stephenville to come out and voice their opinions,” city council member Nancy Hunter said Wednesday.

During the meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Stephenville Senior Citizen Center, the city-hired firm of Brinkley Sargent & Associates will lead the discussion. “Focus groups” consisting of city residents could possibly be set up to provide input.

Hunter said the city’s current recreational hall, senior citizen center and swimming pool are antiquated and have “outlived their usefulness.”

As a result, residents will be asked: “What do you want to see in a facility?”

Some envision a community center being built that would include space set aside for recreational activities, as well as a for senior citizens. A new swimming pool could also be included inside or near the new facility.

Meanwhile, a separate meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, June 14, at the Senior Citizen Center to discuss whether a new public library should be built or the existing library should be relocated. The city-hired firm of Hidell & Associates will hold the public meeting - also with the possibility of establishing “focus groups.”

City Administrator Mark Kaiser has said he expects the process of evaluating and planning for the possibility of new facilities to take about a year.

If a bond issue will be needed to pay for the improvements, the measure likely would be sent to voters in May 2008, Kaiser has said.

“All of those are to be determined,” Kaiser said recently.

DOUG MYERS is Managing Editor of the Empire-Tribune. He can be reached at doug.myers@empiretribune.com or (254) 965-3124, ext. 229.