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Pueblo warming shelter decision postponed one week - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Pueblo warming shelter decision postponed one week

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PUEBLO -

Pueblo City Council has decided to postpone their decision on whether to sign off on a temporary overnight warming shelter, on the West side of town.

"It's not right," said council President Steve Nawrocki, after hearing from neighbors in the area.  

The proposed warming shelter would be at the Hyde Park Community Center.

The city and county have been in search of a temporary shelter, after the Pueblo Rescue Mission encountered some unexpected setbacks at the long-term shelter they had hoped to open by now.

The concern for people living in the area continues to be safety--with neighbors telling News5 over the past month that they weren't comfortable having a shelter temporarily set up in a residential area, close to kids and several D60 schools.

The shelter would only be open from December 1st to April 30th, but a town hall meeting wasn't scheduled ahead of the vote Monday night.

It's scheduled for Tuesday night--which didn't sit well with some of the council members.

Councilman Chris Nicoll suggested they wait a week, so the public could have their voices heard at Tuesday's town hall meeting.

Nawrocki asked council whether they should re-think trying to temporarily house the homeless population at the Salvation Army over the next five months, asking a representative in the audience how many people they could fit each night.

The woman estimated roughly one-hundred people.

Bob Schilling, who represents the district where the warming shelter is being proposed, was the only council member who spoke in favor of it.

"I don't blame you for not liking this, but there's no other place to put them," he said, while looking out into the audience.

"I've heard you complain, but I haven't heard you come up with a solution," he added.

As each council member took time to speak about the emergency ordinance, it appeared the majority were going to vote against it.

But at the last minute, Ed Brown echoed what Nicoll had suggested earlier--to table the ordinance for next week's work session, after a town hall had been held.

The motion was approved 6-1.  Councilman Ray Aguilar said he voted against it only because he wanted to vote that night on the ordinance--suggesting he wouldn't have supported it.

The decision came as both a surprise and a relief to neighbors who sat through the 4+ hour meeting.

"I'm feeling positive," said Ross Jarvis, who has lived near the community center for 20 years.

"I know the city is looking for an answer.  We all are.  But this is a residential neighborhood.  There's other alternatives, they just have to look--the fairgrounds [for example].  If they're really serious, they should just dig in," he added.

The town hall meeting starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday night, at the Hyde Park Community Center on 2135 W 16th St.

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