YMCA waiting on city approval to manage pool

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

FORT MADISON – After a deal fell through last year to turn over operations of the municipal swimming pool to the Fort Madison YMCA, a new agreement will be in front of the city officials this week that could make the transition a reality.

City Manager David Varley added the agreement to the city council agenda at this week’s Tuesday meeting and wrote in a memorandum that the agreement is for one year initially. The contract calls for a review of the agreement after the first year, and if all parties are satisfied with the arrangement, it could be extended in five-year increments.

“This idea was discussed last year, but we were not able to have a contract ready in time for the season,” Varley wrote. “This is basically the same contract and it is like a landlord-tenant lease. It is a one-year contract so both parties can evaluate the situation and decide if we want to continue with such an arrangement in the future.”

YMCA Executive Director Ryan Wilson said the YMCA is waiting on approval from the city and the YMCA has already taken action to approve the proposed contract.

Under the agreement, the YMCA would be responsible for all operational costs during the season from May 1 to Sept. 3, 2018 as well as providing up to $1 million in liability insurance. Those costs would include routine maintenance, labor, and goods for sale.

The city would be responsible for all capital improvement expenses. The city would carry the property insurance and has agreed to make some upgrades to the pool in the first year of the deal. They will not charge the YMCA for water, sewer, or trash removal, and will mow the lawns.

The city also will pay a management fee of $20,000 to the YMCA with half being paid by July 1, 25% by Aug. 1 and the remainder by Sept. 3.

The city will also compensate the YMCA for any operating deficit up to $35,000. However an incentive is in place to provide additional compensation amounting to 25% of the difference between the $35,000 and that actual operating deficit. Varley said that clause would encourage the YMCA to operate efficiently. If the first year operating deficit was $31,000, the city would pay the $31,000 plus an additional $1,000 which represents 25% of the $4,000 savings.

The contract defines operating loss as all gross receipts of any kind (not including taxes) minus operating costs as defined in the contract.

The contract also stipulates that the YMCA cannot change the current prices for admission, but may extend hours and offer other activities including pool rental for after hour or weekend activities.

The YMCA would be responsible for the concession stand, but the proposed contract would provide for the YMCA, at their choosing, to allow an outside group operate it.

“This is a win-win-win situation,” Varley said. “The community wins by having the recreation experts run the facility instead of the City, which is really not in the recreation business as such. The YMCA wins by having two pools to operate for economies of scale and to be more creative with their recreation offerings. The City wins by not having to dedicate so much of its resources, including personnel, to operation of the pool.”

About Chuck Vandenberg 2827 Articles
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