We now turn to the proposed lease agreement with the Destin Family YMCA.
City Manager Greg Kisela is telling the council that the city would enter into a 60-day lease with the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation to operate the YMCA in Destin for the period from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31.
This would cost the city $30,000.
The Destin Family YMCA, as well as the facilities in Crestview and Fort Walton Beach, closed its doors Oct. 10, given a tremendous financial burden that could not be overcome.
In 2005, the city entered into a $1.4 million operation and service agreement with the YMCA for the organization to construct and operate the community pool. In return for the funds, city residents would receive discounted memberships for a period of 10 years, which began on Jan. 9, 2006.
“Our agreement would go through the early part of January 2016,” Kisela said, based on the initial 10-year agreement.
“This is would require the city to operate that facility…” he added. “We’ll need to be able to hire a certified pool cleaner.”
There are also additional costs for insurance and such, Kisela said.
He said they would ideally like to recoup one third of that cost from outside.
The YMCA has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, Kisela said, adding that a court trustee has been appointed to manage the liquidation.
“We would expect that we are a creditor, since we still have outstanding obligations…” Kisela said.
If approved tonight, the city would enter into the lease, subject to approval by the trustee.
After the two-month lease, the Art Foundation would move forward and figure out “what’s best” for them and the community.
Attorney West Ritchie is telling the council that pending abandonment of the lease by the trustee, this vote tonight “should not cause any difficulty whatsoever.”
He said more than likely the trustee will be willing to abandon the current lease so the city can takeover.
A young man from the crowd, Justin Robertson, who swims for fish aquatics, is a high school senior who swims at the facility.
He is telling the council that it’s not that easy for swimmers to find places to swim.
“The YMCA, compared to many of the other pools, is a very nice pool to practice in,” he said. “It gives opportunities for young people to swim, as well as others.”
The next man up is Brad, missed his last name. He is the coach of Coast Aquatics and says Destin is the flagship of local aquatics.
He said they have more than 200 athletes involved and “we need that facility to survive.”
“I think it represents something for the city of Destin,” he said.
The man said they can provide people with plenty of experience in all facets of swimming and pool related areas.