Delaware City Council is considering taking management of city recreation programming and the Jack Florance Pool at Mingo Park away from the YMCA of Central Ohio.
Both were topics at council's Sept. 23 meeting.
The YMCA manages city recreation services and the Mingo pool by contract. The city last operated the pool in 2010.
That contract is not directly related to the operation of the YMCA facility, 1121 S. Houk Road, which houses YMCA programs. The Y leases the building from the city.
The center, which also houses a National Guard unit, was built after voters increased the city's income-tax rate from 1.4% to 1.55% in 2008 to fund the building. The city's income-tax rate now totals 1.85%.
Council members last week reviewed a report from the city administration on issues that could accompany management of the Mingo pool.
They also gave a second reading to an ordinance that would authorize a study that could lead to reestablishment of a city-run parks and recreation department.
Both stem from a variety of resident and City Council complaints against the YMCA aired at an August council meeting.
At that meeting, council members Lisa Keller, Kyle Roher, Jim Browning and George Hellinger voiced dissatisfaction about the Mingo pool's operation.
Keller on Sept. 23 cited a list of complaints she had received from residents: that lifeguards smoked, vaped, texted and failed to watch the pool while on duty, and the pool's water once contained no chlorine.
Keller said she has received emails about such issues since 2013.
City Manager Tom Homan on Sept. 19 sent council members the administration's five-page report on the Mingo pool.
It notes the current contract with the YMCA on the pool's operation will expire at the end of 2020, unless both parties agree to end it earlier. Council had discussed the possibility of the city resuming the pool's management at the beginning of the 2020 season.
Homan wrote the city is capable of effectively running the pool, but he encouraged council to evaluate if the contract could be allowed to run next year.
The report says the pool is expected to cost more than $356,000 to operate in 2020, with revenue estimated at $301,000. When the city last ran the pool in 2010, revenue exceeded expenses, the report said.
The city now pays the YMCA more than $208,000 a year to operate the pool and recreation services, the report said. That and other factors make it "difficult to predict the true market for revenues and what Delawareans are willing to pay for memberships," it said.
During discussion, Homan told council the pool is labor-intensive and requires 75 seasonal employees.
The report notes one option is to "repair (the) partnership with YMCA to resolve issues ... " and the YMCA has started that process.
YMCA of Central Ohio CEO Tony Collins in August said, "We are committed to sitting down with the city leadership."
Assistant City Manager Kyle Kridler told council he talked with YMCA officials earlier that day.
"They want to see this work out. If it doesn't work out, then they have to prepare as well to what that means for them ... but they value us as a partner," Kridler. "So in a perfect world, I think they would want to see the partnership work."
In a memo attached to the meeting's agenda, Homan wrote the parks and recreation department study could be broken into two phases: the first a needs assessment and the second an action plan.
The ordinance calls for both to be prepared by PROS Consulting of Indianapolis.
Homan wrote the needs assessment would cost about $44,360.
If council agrees to develop an action plan, that would cost about $30,600.
On Sept. 9, Homan told council the needs assessment would involve a "statistically valid and reliable survey" to provide the city community feedback.
His memo in the Sept. 23 agenda said the city's parks impact fee and exaction fee accounts have balances that could cover both phases of the study.