The Washington City Council approved wellness park operational agreements with the YMCA of Washington County on a 4-2 vote during Tuesday’s meeting.
Steven Gault and Fran Stigers were the two opposing votes on the item which followed a workshop discussion held on March 16th on three agreements for scheduling, recreation services and field management, and shared use. These agreements also include the Washington Community School District, Washington Area Baseball Council, Washington Area Softball Association, and Washington Area Soccer Program. The YMCA will be in charge of concession stand operations, scheduling and general oversight of the sports complex, and the city will be compensating the YMCA $40,000 for these services for this one year agreement. Council Member Fran Stigers remarked that the dollar amount was too high, and that the city’s current recreational services agreement with the organization is $32,000. Council Member Danielle Pettit-Majewski commented on the YMCA’s services, “I do not have children but a lot of people my age in this community do and the Y provides a service that we are incapable of providing as a city. And they do a great job, and they are a great partner for a lot of other entities and so I just have to say that it bothers me a significant deal to feel that they are constantly being attacked when they do things for us that we cannot do as a city.”
Mayor Jaron Rosien said he was wary of the resolution ending in a split vote to approve the agreements, as the city has sporting tournaments and other events already scheduled for this summer at the park. Gault commented on his continued view of the park seeming more like a sports complex, and his desire for building a pond, which Rosien stated could still potentially happen.