Children go to drive-in from pool

William Thompson

According to workers at Tucumcari Municipal Pool, young children unaccompanied by adults, are walking to the Sonic restaurant or other nearby establishments during the daily 3 p.m. break time at the pool. Sonic is a full two blocks away from the city’s pool.

Amber Martin, head lifeguard at the pool, noted that this year, unlike years past, no concessions are available near the pool property. She said that represents a danger for children. “Everyday we have a break at 3 p.m.,” said Martin. “Unattended young children are walking across streets to Sonic to get something to eat. I wish we had a way to sell snacks here.” Scott Simpson, Director of Recreation for the city of Tucumcari, echoed Martin’s sentiments. “Last year we had a vendor come by during the break time, and that worked out well,” said Simpson. “Now young kids are crossing streets where there is traffic. I wish some vendors would contact us so we could have concessions sold near the pool area.”

Simpson noted that the state’s environment department will not permit concessions to be sold on the pool property.
Bill Gray, manager of the Sonic Drive-In restaurant at 602 West Tucumcari Boulevard, said the number of children coming to his restaurant during the afternoon hours has increased dramatically from past years. “The kids are coming down on us like a plague of locusts on a cornfield,” said Gray. “I don’t have any problem with it. The kids are well-behaved, and I haven’t seen any kids trying to cross Tucumcari Boulevard.”

Sonic is located on the same side of Tucumcari Boulevard as the swimming pool. Marty Garcia, Tucumcari’s Finance Director, said the city will be looking into the matter to see if there are any safety issues that need to be addressed..
“We will take a look at the situation and see what we can do,” said Garcia. “We will look into the possibility of getting a vendor or maybe even getting the police to monitor the area. We will see what, if anything, needs to be done.”