County Manager Kelly Kuenstler reportedly voiced concerns about the lack of funding to complete the project, as well as the cost of utilities and upkeep on the building, at Thursday's commission meeting.
County project director Billy Ruiz said that a preliminary cost estimate to renovate the building was over 900-thousand dollars.
Kuenstler said the county so far had received a $399,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant, and approximately $76,000 in reverted funds for the project.
Kuenstler said she sent a letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development saying that the responsible thing to do at this time was to return the 399-thousand-dollar grant.
She added that as a former federal grant administrator, she felt Luna County will be much more respected for returning the funds rather than attempting to utilize them on a project that could not be completed and might not be sustainable.
Kuenstler said she and the commissioners supported the concept of a youth program, but all felt the former Pepsi building was not the right location.
She said the commissioners supported using the C-D-B-G and reverted funds to possibly house a youth center elsewhere.