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Local News

November 12, 2013

City looks at fees for recreation programs

The city’s Community Improvement Committee supports charging non-residents fees for recreational programs, the chairman said Monday night.

The amount and whether to move forward with a proposal for services from the Oneonta Family YMCA will be discussed at the CIC’s December meeting, according to Chairman Bob Brzozowski, Common Council member from the Seventh Ward.

The committee has requested that city administrators provide more specifics about fees, Brzozowski said, plus fiscal details on costs and savings to the city in scenarios of city management vs. administration by the YMCA.

At its meeting in Common Council Chambers on Monday night, committee members debated questions about changes in the municipal recreation program, particularly swimming.

Larry Malone, council member from the Second Ward, said the issues about fees and the YMCA proposal, need to be decided by the end of the year, and David Rissberger, Third Ward council member, agreed.

Frank Russo, executive director of the local YMCA, said told the committee that the organization is ready to partner with the city to find solutions. But the YMCA needs an answer by the end of the year to have time to plan and provide quality programming, he said.

Mayor Dick Miller has asked CIC and the Parks and Recreation Commission to review the YMCA proposal this and next month and advise the council in time to make a decision at the first Common Council meeting in January.

The city would pay the YMCA $65,000 for programming, including staff and supplies, for 2014, according to the proposal. The YMCA would seek additional revenue through application and nonresident fees. The city next year could save $31,500 or $47,800 depending on the option chosen, Miller said in a recent memo.

At Monday’s meeting, Michael Lynch, Fourth Ward council member, said the council this year needs to figure out about fees but doesn’t have to balance the 2014 budget on the swimming program.

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