Florida YMCA, County at Odds over Program Funding

The Manatee County (FL) YMCA and the County of Manatee have been at odds for eight months over money that each side says the other owes. 

The Manatee County (FL) YMCA got bad news last week from county auditors. They say the YMCA owes an additional $77,000 in payments to the county, according to several media reports. That amount is in addition to the $186,000 that county officials announced last summer that they are seeking from the Y as a refund for the county's alleged overpayment to the Y for a series of youth programs at the YMCA.

The latest volley from county auditors comes on the heels of a flurry of activity during the past eight months between the YMCA and the auditor’s office. The auditor's office issued a report in July 2014 that accused the YMCA of program reporting deficiencies, including "photocopied and altered records; incomplete and missing documentation; backdated documents; and services reported for ineligible clients and/or program days."

In response, the YMCA said it conducted an internal investigation and found documentation flaws, but no evidence of fraud. Not only that, Y officials said they were seeking $130,470 in payments they say the county owes the Y, according to a report in the Bradenton Herald Tribune.

On Dec. 9, the Bradenton Herald announced that the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office had turned over documents related to the July audit to the State Attorney’s Office for review. On Feb. 13, the same paper reported that the State Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute the case.

As later reported in the Bradenton Herald, YMCA Board Chairman Joey Brannon then issued a statement: "The state attorney ruling that has cleared the Manatee Y of any wrongdoing is well-deserved and long overdue. As the Manatee Y said from the start, all contracted services were provided, and any errors regarding paperwork, once identified, were dealt with. We hope this ruling moves us closer to a final resolution with the county, so that the Y can get back to devoting its full energies to what it does best: Serving the families of Manatee County."

Local news reports now say that officials from both the auditor's office and the Manatee Family YMCA have agreed to meet to discuss the matter further. Calls to both parties for comment were not returned. 

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