Village and community center negotiating deal

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By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

The village of Urbancrest and the YMCA of Central Ohio could be closer to coming to an agreement over the operations at the Vaughn. E. Hairston Southwest Community Center.

At the Jan. 9 meeting, law director Rodd Lawrence informed the village council that the final draft of the contract between the two entities had been submitted after nearly a year of negotiations.

A question was raised during the meeting that the draft had already been approved by council at a previous meeting, but later Mayor Joseph Barnes Sr. said the finalization was dependent on another council vote.

“I think (the finalization of the contract) should be coming within the next several months,” Barnes said.

One point of contention that was brought up during the January meeting was the payment of the building’s utilities.
Since the YMCA of Central Ohio began operating at the Vaughn E. Hairston Southwest Community Center in 1998, the organization has been in charge of the payment of the building’s utilities. After it was announced last year that funding cuts through the United Way could put the operation in jeopardy, village council and the YMCA started to discuss a change in how the building’s utilities were paid.

Under the submitted contract, the village would be in charge of paying for the building’s general utilities such as heating, cooling, electricity, water, and hard-wired, non-cellular services. The YMCA would be in charge of paying for other utility services such as satellite, cellular or cable services.

The contract stipulated that the village bills to cover the utilities would not exceed $6,500 per month.

A point of contention over this wording was brought forth at the monthly meeting when fiscal officer Kathy Thimmes said that the contract is for a year when the village was in negotiations with the YMCA. Thimmes said there had been no purchase order submitted and the money should have been previously encumbered.

Barnes said further discussions would have to take place between the village and the YMCA over the payment of utilities for 2017.

The submitted contract also calls for the village to pay for major repairs to the building, while the YMCA will pay for minor repairs and replacements.

The submitted contract calls for the entities to work together on fundraising efforts and grant opportunities to cover major repairs, renovations, and additions. It also states that the YMCA will pay for the maintenance of the grounds.
The contract also states that the village residents seeking a year-long membership will be charged $100 per household and the hours of operation will be as followed: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tina Badurina, senior vice president of marketing and communications with the YMCA of Central Ohio said she expects the agreements to be signed soon.

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