Friday, 14 December 2012

City Releases Statement on Future of Sports Park, Little League ...

A statement was released Wednesday afternoon by Imperial Beach Mayor Jim Janney which states that the city wants the YMCA to manage its recreational center, but want to first sit down with baseball and softball leagues to come up with a "win-win decision for the community."

Though no public vote or discussion has taken place about turning control of the Sports Park and Recreation Center over to the YMCA, the city has talked with outside entities about a possible takeover since this spring.

The statement released Wednesday goes on to say no deal has been set yet and before a decision is made about the future of the area for IB's youth.

Before a deal is struck with the YMCA, "staff will meet with YMCA, Little League and Girls Softball to create points of agreement beneficial to all." Staff will then report the result of meetings to City Council. At least one public meeting will be held, the statement said.

      IB Patch reported in September that the city wants to turn control of its rec center to the YMCA in order to save roughly $200,000 a year.

      The city held closed-door meetings in September and again last week to discuss "price and terms of payment" to the YMCA.

      This fall tearful Sports Park employees and teens who frequent the rec center spoke during public comment at a council meeting. Many expressed concern over cost increases to use the facilities and urged the city to form a committee to help guide the decision making process for youth activities in IB.

      Imperial Beach Little League and IB Girls Softball leagues have been expressed concern with the possibility that baseball and softball fields may be eliminated if the YMCA takes over the facility and its lands.

      IBLL President Don Spicer also expressed outrage in a letter to Little League familes over the fact that they were not notified early in the process about talks with the YMCA and that the city is putting its financial troubles on its young people.

      According to 2010 Census Data, near one in five IB residents lives below the poverty line, compared to 12.3 and 13.7 San Diego County and California averages.

      One in four IB residents are below the age of 18.

      The city plans to make a decision on the future of the Sports Park in early 2013, said City Manager Gary Brown.


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