The mayor’s office announced Wednesday that the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department will present details of a proposed agreement with the YMCA during Monday’s informal City Council meeting.
“Per the proposed agreement, the City will subsidize the YMCA for any shortfall experienced at the City’s aquatic facilities. Based on proposed budgets, the subsidy is estimated at no more than $632,350 for 2012. By utilizing the remaining subsidy already budgeted for Cottonwood Creek Recreation Center, estimated at $208,000, a supplemental appropriation of $425,000 is necessary. Should revenues come in higher than budgeted, or expenses turn out to be lower than anticipated, the subsidy amount will be appropriately reduced,” according to city documents.
The council will be asked to vote on funding in support of the proposed agreement the following day.
“We are thrilled with the potential of a partnership with the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region moving forward with City Council’s approval,” Chief of Staff Laura Neumann said in a statement.
“The City has a great history of working with the YMCA, and we optimistically look forward to being able to open our swimming pools again for the benefit of our entire community,” she said.
When the city terminated its contract with private operators Kevin and Tina Dessart, at least one council member speculated that it was because the Bach administration wanted to let the YMCA take over the pools.
Councilman Merv Bennett, who was elected last year, was the longtime CEO of the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region. Bennett did not immediately return a call for comment.
Councilwoman Brandy Williams said she wanted to know whether the proposed contract was competitively bid.
“The reason the laws were set up the way that they are was to prevent people from getting into office and then simply handing contracts to people. There’s usually a competitive bid process because, over time, citizens have seen that that could become an issue and it’s to prevent anything like that from happening,” she said.
“There’s at least a process that the public can see how the decision was made, the bids that came in, things of that nature, so there’s more transparency brought to the issue,” Williams added.
Williams said the YMCA looked into taking over some of the city’s pools the first time the city said it was looking for partners from the private sector. She said the YMCA concluded at that time that it wasn’t cost-effective.
“They didn’t even present the bid because in their due diligence process, the math didn’t work,” she said. “The difference (under this agreement) is that $600,000 in funds from the city. That’s the difference, and that begs the question: Could the Dessarts have used that $600,000 much like the Y is using it and ran the pools? Was that question asked?’
The YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region has been in the for 134 years.
“We believe this partnership with the city will enhance the overall quality of life and ease the burden of government,” Dan Dummermuth, president and CEO of the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region, said in a statement.
“The YMCA strengthens the foundation of our community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” he said.
According to the city, here are the highlights of the proposed agreement: