By Gary Mitchell
A request by Life Saver Food Bank officials to relocate the non-profit organization to a site just west of the Clovis Police Department’s firing range caught the police chief by surprise.
Clovis Police Chief Bill Carey told Clovis city commissioners Thursday that he was “concerned about the location of their building in conjunction with our firing range.”
“Safety is my chief concern,” he said.
When Nancy Taylor, executive director of Life Saver Food Bank, presented her request to the commissioners, she cited lack of space and good accessibility as reasons for the site change.
“This is our 20th year in the food business in Clovis,” she said. “We have the best food bank in the state, but we’ve outgrown our facility. They tell us we are now landlocked, and it’s difficult for our trucks to come to our present building.”
Life Saver Food Bank is currently located at 2217 E. Brady Avenue, next to the city’s animal shelter. The proposed new site would be two blocks north of Mabry Drive on Humphrey Road, just off the entrance to the police department’s firing range.
Carey said he was not informed of the proposed site relocation of the food bank until the city commission meeting Thursday.
“That’s my fault,” said assistant city manager Joe Thomas. “I apologize for not letting you know ahead of time. But it won’t interfere with the firing range at all. They will be firing their weapons in a northerly direction or an easterly direction away from the building. The building would be located at least 100 yards from the depressed area (of the firing range).”
Commissioner Cathy Haynes agreed that safety should be the key issue and suggested the matter be tabled until the police department and Life Saver officials could check out the ramifications of the relocation.
The commission unanimously tabled action on the item until its June 19 meeting.
In a separate matter, commissioners unanimously approved the appointment of steering committee members to consider plans, develop a budget, review financing alternatives, and develop a business plan for the design, construction and operation of a civic center on land designated by Expo Inc.
“I’m excited to be on the steering committee,” said Commissioner Robert Sandoval said after the meeting. “I hope we get things done as quickly as possible. The citizens of Clovis have been waiting a long time for this, and the time has come for us to do something about it.”