City Cuts Rec Department, Hires YMCA

HOLLY HILL, FL -- City commissioners in Holly Hill, FL, recently voted to eliminate the $400,000 per year municipal recreation department and contract management of its rec center to the Volusia Flagler Family YMCA.

The deal was a necessary cost-cutting measure, Oel Wingo, city manager, told local reporters.

“We’re expecting a 15 to 20 percent drop in revenue this year,” Wingo said. “This is an opportunity for the city to put money back into general revenue and use an agency to provide services with expanded programs for our citizens.”

Once the city and YMCA reach a contract agreement, the Holly Hill Recreation Center will be renamed the City of Holly Hill YMCA. The Y is currently leasing the facility on a month-to-month basis. Initial plans call for the YMCA to pay the city for rent and utilities, funds the city says it will use for facility maintenance. The Y also will probably split profits on memberships with the city.

Three recreation department employees were laid off as part of the reorganization, including director Chuck Beach, a 22-year city employee.

Some residents attended the city council meeting to express concern about turning over a building paid for with tax dollars to an outside agency.

“We’re not giving up a building or programs,” Wingo said. “We’re getting recreational programs with a commercial lease.”

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