The YMCA of Central Ohio has suggested that it handle all recreational programming for the city of Delaware, essentially eliminating the parks and recreation department and saving the city $70,000 annually.

The YMCA of Central Ohio has suggested that it handle all recreational programming for the city of Delaware, essentially eliminating the parks and recreation department and saving the city $70,000 annually.

Some city council members on April 19 cited citizens' objections to the plan.

Aa report for the city completed by Paul Weber, district vice president at YMCA of Central Ohio, outlines a proposal to transition the parks and recreation department's recreational offerings and department management to the YMCA. Council plans to set up a public information meeting in the next couple of weeks to discuss the proposal.

Mayor Gary Milner told ThisWeek, "This could happen. It might not happen," he said.

Milner said city representatives will meet with individuals from the YMCA to discuss proposal details. He estimates discussions will conclude sometime in May.

The new YMCA facility on Houk Road is expected to be completed in September, Milner said. This means any agreement probably wouldn't have to be made until early June.

The report says a transition could occur on Jan. 1, 2012. It proposes a new YMCA-city director who would split time between the YMCA and MingoPark during the 2011 transition. The report suggests a 70-30 salary split, with the 30 percent portion devoted to Delaware programming.

The city would pay the YMCA $205,000 in annual subsidies. The subsidy for years two to five also would include an annual increase of 1.5 percent to cover any anticipated cost increases.

Milner said most of the $205,000 would subsidize four full-time employees the YMCA would have to add.

A director would handle the YMCA and city services. Currently, the city also employs an aquatics director and part-time programmer, a full-time recreational programmer and a full-time administrative assistant, positions that the YMCA would have to fill.

The proposal states that beginning Jan. 1, 2012 the YMCA would manage all previous "city run," non-aquatic programs at what might be current city fees including a 1- to 5-percent increase to address existing shortfalls. Any programs previously offered by outside contractors would have lower fees comparable with existing city-run programs. Aquatics programs might be kept at the same price or lowered to reflect similar YMCA pricing.

Milner said, "I still want to see the final proposal to see whether I'm agreeing with it."

Weber told ThisWeek that collaboration would not change Mingo Park programming.

"Our intent is to run programs at both locations," Weber said. Programming at Mingo would still be available without a YMCA membership.

Council member Lisa Keller asked Weber if he had any preliminary calculations of profit for the YMCA.

"Our goal is not to make a profit. Our goal is to break even," Weber said. He doesn't anticipate any profit.

Council member Andrew Brush said although most of the feedback he's heard about the collaboration has been negative, he also has heard positive feedback.

Council member Carolyn Riggle said she had "one person in favor of it out of 50."

Milner said he has probably heard only one person opposing the proposal.

He told ThisWeek that having explanations available helped people be more comfortable with the idea of collaboration. Some worry about not being able to participate without becoming a YMCA member. Milner said he shares that concern.

"We want no part of it" if the collaboration would negatively affect pricing and participation, he said.