Talon News - Good Local News

By J.R. Sykes



January 12, 2018

On 01/05/18 TALON reported on the “Ship Shape Fitness Rally” to be held at the Aztec Senior Center in January. Proceeds from space rent at the rally were said to fund new exercise equipment at the Senior Center. TALON readers have since expressed concern about the city opening a fitness center to service seniors and city employees undermining local business.

First let me say at 52 years, that I am a supporter of efforts to soften the retirement years for our veterans and senior citizens. The gutting of social security, Medicare/Medicaid and other senior supports is embarrassing. We have to look locally for answers, as Washington doesn’t seem interested. That said, the idea of our city competing with local business makes TALON ask questions.

By our count in December, 2017, Aztec offered three fitness centers. These businesses serve the public, pay taxes and rent, support employees, give back, and maintain clean, respectable businesses. As of 01/09/2018, “The Womens Gym,” previously located on Park Ave. has joined the list of casualties and shut their door.

TALON contacted the remaining fitness businesses in Aztec for comment. Premier Fitness and Anytime Fitness both have confirmed offering special low rates for senior citizens, city employees and other groups. Both expressed some concern with the idea of the city offering a fitness center.

Nationwide, senior and community centers are commonly offering fitness equipment access, and Bloomfield and Farmington both have offerings.

According to Cindy Iacovetto, Director of Aztec Senior Center, “We do not want to compete with local business.” Cindy went on to indicate event proceeds (if any) will go to augment fitness equipment available to members of the Aztec Senior Center. Cindy showed two new pieces of fitness equipment tucked in a corner. According to Cindy these machines go to fulfill a state requirement to provide access to senior fitness programming.

In a telephone interview with TALON, acting City Manager Steve Mueller responded, “It is not the City’s intent to compete with local business. It is the City’s goal to help the seniors in our community stay healthy and active.” Mr. Mueller also indicated the project is in the city’s master plan, and supported by $7000 in grant money for equipment.

On a tour of the facility, it becomes clear that their two exercycle-type machines do provide some fitness options to seniors, but are not likely to compete with local businesses. The City has no plan to expand the offering, and the equipment is only available to members of the Senior Center.

My take is that City of Aztec is not opening a competing fitness center or gym, and that our city leaders are complying with state regulations.

Send your comments or concerns on this subject, or any other local concern to [email protected], and we will investigate for an upcoming TALON.


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