To the editor:

To the editor:

The Delaware community has been my home for nearly 40 years. For the past 30 years, I have taught in Delaware's public schools and coached high school and age-group competitive swimming programs for the city of Delaware.

I am often asked why Delaware does not have a YMCA or recreation center when smaller communities have such facilities. Students in my government class have rated a recreation center as a top need when asked to rank items that would make Delaware a better place. The voters will have an opportunity to remedy this situation on Aug. 5 by voting "yes" for recreation.

A "yes" vote will generate monies for an indoor recreation center, improvements to existing city athletic fields and new fields. The YMCA would manage the indoor facility.

The YMCA has a proven track record for programming and would be a great addition to Delaware. The YMCA will be able to provide recreational activities that are not currently provided by the city.

The field sports -- soccer, baseball, softball and lacrosse -- are in need of additional fields as the number of participants increases each year. Additional playing fields will be part of the construction of the recreation center/National Guard facility on South Houk Road.

The issue is asking to increase the city income tax from the current 1.4 percent to 1.55 percent. The income tax will return to 1.4 percent upon paying off the cost of the project. Retired citizens will pay only if they are generating taxable income.

The YMCA membership fee will be 10 percent less for Delaware city residents. The YMCA offers a sliding fee scale to those individuals and families that meet the income levels eligible for reduced rates or scholarship. The YMCA will assume all operating expenses.

The athletic fields at the South Houk Road facility will remain under the operation of the Delaware Parks and Recreation Department. Additional information and an opportunity to ask questions of the Committee to Promote Recreation can be accessed at the Web site

The indoor recreation facility will offer a unique opportunity to citizens of all ages. New athletic fields and reconditioned existing fields will provide space currently lacking in Delaware.

I would welcome these recreation additions to my community. Vote "yes" for recreation on Aug. 5.

Bill Rietz