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Deplorable conditions at Expo Center unacceptable
by Chip Latcham
Oct 12, 2012 | 1476 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The good news is that Western Week is riding back into town next week.

The bad news is that the celebration is returning to the Bee County Expo Center.

Concerned citizens who appeared at the Commissioners Court meeting Monday literally raised a stink about the deplorable conditions at the Expo Center.

Paul Ables, who addressed the court during the public comment part of the meeting, said, “Recently, we had a horse show at the coliseum in the new arena,” he said. “I wanted to bring to (your) attention that the conditions out there were horrible.

“The bathrooms were nasty.

“The area was in extremely poor condition.”

Ables went on to describe the trash and broken glass and soft drink cans in the arena, which could pose a danger to youths riding horses in the show.

Other citizens recently have voiced concerns about the restrooms there.

Nelda Garza, a vendor at the Diez y Seis celebration, said the ladies facilities were “totally disgusting.” She “felt so bad to have to expose a young lady of five years old (a friend’s daughter) to such filth.”

“It was just horrible. There is no need for something like that. None whatsoever.”

Residents who do not regularly attend events at the Expo Center, horse arena or pavilions may not have realized that the facilities have “progressively gotten worse.”

If our community is going to continue hosting family-style events out there, the court must take steps to make necessary improvements... or people, both local and visitors from out of town, are going to stop coming here.

Valuable tourism dollars will be lost. And what a black eye for the county to have bathrooms at the Expo Center described as “a pigsty, unfit for human use.”

Granted, the county does not have the budget surplus to hire bathroom attendants for each of the public restrooms on the Expo Center grounds. All it takes is one person – child, teenager or adult – who wants to make a mess to do so. It’s a reflection of the times in which we live that public property is so willingly trashed regularly, but that’s the reality.

Perhaps the solution is for the county to require those leasing the facilities to provide restroom attendants as a part of each contract. If an organization is renting the grounds for a fund-raiser, they can place volunteers on bathroom duty or just supply their own Skid-o-cans.

We all must step up to make certain that the county offers entertainment facilities in which we can take pride.
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