YMCA looks to partner on pools

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After deciding against subsidizing a private-public partnership with Swim Colorado Inc. for three city pools last year, the city will soon decide whether to subsidize the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region to run the same pools, and several others.

The YMCA wants to begin managing nearly all the city’s pools in April, including Cottonwood Creek Recreation Center, the Aquatics and Fitness Center at Memorial Park, Portal Pool, Wilson Ranch Pool, Monument Valley Pool and Prospect Lake Beach. The YMCA does not want to manage the currently-closed Valley-Hi pool for competitive reasons.

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The YMCA is requesting a $425,000 subsidy from the city to run the pools — more than four times what Swim Colorado owner Kevin Dessart said he needed to keep three pools open. The Y would get a greater subsidy if it lost money on the pools. If it made money, it would share the profits with the city.
The pools would remain owned by the city, and the Y would strive to keep fees affordable and offer financial assistance when needed.

“Being a 501(c)(3), one of our charges is to ease the burden of government,” YMCA President and CEO Dan Dummermuth said the day before the potential partnership was announced.

Mayor Steve Bach was likewise enthused in the days before the announcement.

“Community partnerships are essential to our future success,” he said, “as a city the government is not going to have the resources we need to get everything done here.”

City Council will vote on the proposed partnership on March 13. Councilor Merv Bennett, a former YMCA CEO, has promised to recuse himself from the vote.

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