Delaware City Council is divided on how quickly to let the YMCA take over the city's recreation program.

Delaware City Council is divided on how quickly to let the YMCA take over the city's recreation program.

At its July 25 meeting, council heard a first reading of a proposed management agreement between the city of Delaware and the YMCA of Central Ohio.

"This is just a first reading. We've worked closely with the Y to come up with an agreement that protects the interests of the city and allows the YMCA to manage the program," city manager Tom Homan said.

The new YMCA facility on Houk Road is expected to be completed in September.

YMCA officials in April suggested the organization handle recreational programming for Delaware, eliminating most of the city's parks and recreation positions.

Council members Carolyn Kay Riggle and Joe DiGenova said they would prefer to let the YMCA open and see how well it's run before turning over the city's recreation programming.

Vice Mayor Windell Wheeler said he would be OK with waiting. "If it's not broken, why fix it?" Riggle said.

Council members Andrew Brush and Lisa Keller said they preferred not to wait.

Brush cited the cost savings to taxpayers.

"I think it makes sense to have all of this under the same umbrella," Brush said. "It seems to me this is a very prudent thing to do and something that we all have to support."

The current estimated cost savings for hiring the YMCA to manage the city's recreation programming is $147,624 a year, city spokesman Lee Yoakum said.

Paul Weber, YMCA of Central Ohio district vice president, said more than 400 applications have been submitted for positions at the new facility.

Weber has said that about 150 positions will be available at the YMCA and he would like the parks and recreation's current three full-time city staff members to work for the YMCA.

Under the three-year proposal presented to council July 25, Delaware would pay YMCA of Central Ohio $185,000 to run its recreation program the first year, $187,000 for the second year, and the third year's rate would be negotiated.

"YMCA must submit a report detailing program expenses, revenue and participation, and year three's management fee and program rates will be negotiated based on the information we receive in this report," city attorney Darren Shulman said.

The second year should provide a "good snapshot" of how the programming is running, he said.

For the coming year, the YMCA would offer programs currently offered by the city and would not change program costs for residents.

It would offer additional programming at its discretion.

City facilities would be available for rental as they are now.

Current users Angel Dunlap Dancing and the Little Brown Jug Square Dance Club would continue to be permitted to use them.

"City residents will not see any cost increase or services decrease from what they have now," Shulman said.

The YMCA would be responsible for facility repairs up to $500 per incident and for purchasing program equipment.

The three-year contract offers an optional three-year renewal and allows either party to terminate the contract for any reason with 90 days' notice.

If the agreement is canceled, YMCA must provide participation and payment information for the last 12 months to help the transition go smoothly.

The city parks and recreation advisory board would continue to exist in its current form.

Three YMCA reps would join those members to form a YMCA advisory committee.

Keller suggested thatthree city council members also serve on the advisory committee.

Shulman and Homan said the proposed agreement could be amended to include that provision.

Homan said he and Shulman would work with Weber to make adjustments to the agreement based on council members' comments and would bring it back for a second reading at the Aug. 8 meeting.

Council could vote on the plan Aug. 8 or Sept. 12.