The YMCA approved for a 2-year trial run with the Town of Gravenhurst
The YMCA requested permission to continue to negotiate a two-year trial renewal with the Town of Gravenhurst, allowing them to determine the impacts of COVID-19 since re-opening and into the near future.
In the August 9, 2022, Council meeting, Interim Director of Recreation, Arts and Culture, Shawna Patterson said, “We were near the end of the negotiation period when the when the pandemic hit us, before we were able to renew a longer-term agreement, so that process was sidelined temporarily during the pandemic.”
Since the re-opening, the YMCA has been in discussions with the Town to determine the impact the pandemic has had on them, indicated Patterson. She adds, “To top that, Crunch Fitness opening… So, there have been a couple of things that have impacted the YMCA operations. There is still uncertainty moving forward. The pandemic and COVID are still happening, and staff shortages, and people are still hesitating to return. So, we want to make sure that we’re taking the right path forward, given the uncertainties that are happening, and we’re also wanting to meet the needs of the community.”
Patterson indicates that the upcoming Parks and Recreation Plan could also provide operation guidance, and that “We are continuing to review the draft agreement to secure an agreement with them for two years, to allow time for them to recover from the pandemic and see where they’re sitting operationally and financially. So, it will give us some time to feel the waters over the next couple of years to see where they are lying.”
According to Patterson, the Town currently pays $350,000 for the YMCA’s utilities, building bricks and mortar costs, and an admin fee of 10% to help cover operation overhead, such as IT help, which will continue (not including the capital investments of the Town).
Councillor John Gordon inquired about the capital expenses, inquiring, “If the swimming pool needs massive replacement, where does the money come to fund that? From the Town? Or from funds that have gone to the Town under the use agreement with the YMCA?”
Patterson replied, “Any capital work repairs that do need to happen do come to the Town, that are bricks and mortar. So, any of the fitness equipment, stairs, treadmills, etc., are their assets that they look after. But we look after the core operations of the facilities – the pumps, the pool liners, etc.”
Councillor Penny Varney inquired about the rate differences between the YMCA and the Crunch fitness facility that reside in the same building, asking, “Is this what’s going to be causing more people to go to Crunch than to go to the Y?”
Patterson responded, “It’s about a $40 difference in monthly fees between the Y and Crunch, depending on what program you’re going for.”
The Council agreed to authorize admin to negotiate and enter into the two-year agreement with the YMCA and consider what the next steps will be.