Split support for lawsuit against Bernalillo County

Posted at: 07/21/2013 8:23 PM
Updated at: 07/21/2013 10:16 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Some South Valley residents want support for a lawsuit that they have filed against Bernalillo County, but others say they should not have launched the fight in the first place. 

People who filed a lawsuit to stop the county from continuing construction on a mini gym addition to the existing South Valley Senior Citizen Multipurpose Center argue the county was supposed to use it for an adult day care center. They say that is what seniors really want.

“My health has been very poor,” 93-year-old Frances Blea says, “and I like to give my family a break. That’s why I would like to have a daycare center, not a gym.”

They claim first proposals for the senior center included plans for a day care addition and that the state pitched in money with that as part of the concept, but the county says initial proposals were exploratory and diverse.

“Some of it was for kids, some of it was for a mini-gym, some of it was for seniors,” County Manager Tom Zdunek says. “The whole point of that is, it’s a multipurpose center. That’s always been the case, and it hasn’t changed.”

One construction worker claims the lawsuit’s not in the neighborhood’s interest.

“We’re knee deep in a contract with the county to do this project,” The construction worker says. “It’s gonna hurt me and I’m from the South Valley too.”

He says they should move forward as is, then potentially convert it later. But others say it’s needed now.

“There’s a lot of elderly that need it,” 88-year-old Sefi Chavez says. “They’re in wheelchairs, they’re in walkers, they have canes, and they really need help.”