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Claremont officials assessing Junior Sports League building

CLAREMONT — An assessment of the Junior Sports League building and its future continues.

Mayor James Neilsen and City Council members toured the Junior Sports League building last month and found several matters of concerns, triggering a series of inspections.

City Manager Guy Santagate is awaiting reports from the city Fire Department, Code Enforcement Officer and Health Officer.

The inspections started last week, he said.

“We continue inspections into this week. I’m hoping to get some finalization reports by Thursday,” Santagate said.

It is possible the City Council could review the building as soon as its July 9 meeting, he said.

The city owns the building, which was once an armory, and a group of volunteers known as the Junior Sports League runs activities in the building, such as roller skating on Fridays and Sundays. The city also uses the building for basketball games.

Last week, Neilsen said he and other council members were shocked by their tour of the building in which they found a room on the third floor that had two mattresses on the floor as well as a television and a microwave, he said.

There were also bedsheets covering the windows of the room and possibly black mold, he said.

Last week, Yvonne Shuey, a longtime Junior Sports volunteer, denied there is a room with mattresses on the floor.

The city usually budgets $16,000 a year for the Junior Sports League. During the budget process this year, City Manager Guy Santagate recommended the city only budget $2,000 and conduct a review of whether the city should continue the current use.

Santagate has suggested the city find another use for the building and transfer ownership of it.

Tuesday, he said the building is getting old, increasing heating and electricity costs.

During the budget process, the city council voted to fund $16,000 for the building to keep the youth programs going. The approved funds were added to the city parks and recreation budget, so whether that money actually goes to the JSL is at the discretion of the parks and recreation department.

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