Serving the community since 1970

Shafter council approves feasibility study for former prison

The Shafter City Council approved a feasibility study to consider options for the use of the Modified Medium Correctional Facility that has been closed down for years.

City Manager Gabriel Gonzalez said that discussions with a sporting company resulted in an idea of turning the facility into a building for recreational use. Pickleball was mentioned as an alternative. Mayor Chad Givens said that pickleball has grown in popularity by 600 percent the past three years. Gonzalez said that the existing rooms could be made into indoor pickleball courts, with the outdoor parking lot perhaps being turned into some temporary courts while the inside is being constructed.

There also was mention of an indoor soccer facility. Councilmember Gilbert Alvarado expressed the need to talk to Director Phillip Jimenez and the staff at the Shafter Recreation Department about their plans, just keeping them abreast of what is going on. This would make sure that the city's plans would not be in competition with the Recreation Department's plans for their new sports complex.

The council also approved a resolution to terminate their agreement with SITREP Security Solutions and go into a contract with Dark Knight Security.

Currently, the city is paying $2,800 per month for SITREP to patrol its parks at night, as well as being responsible for locking the restrooms at night.

Dark Knight Security submitted a bid that would cost the city only $2,300 for the same service. They voted unanimously to terminate the agreement with SITREP and enter into a contract with Dark Knight. Councilmember Gus Olvera had to recuse himself from this item, citing a conflict of interest. Olvera has a relative that is involved in the security firm.

The council also approved $700,000 for the Shafter Aquatic Center project.

The money is needed to supplement the funding originally given for the project. This includes the pool resurfacing the pool and making the facility ADA compliant.


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