|
|
Examiner
  • Parks Department plans more fitness options

  • The Independence Parks and Recreation Department is trying to pick up some of the pieces left behind by the recent closing of the YMCA on East 32nd Street.



    In a presentation to the City Council Monday, director Eric Urfer outlined how Parks and Recreation hopes to fill part of the void for former YMCA patrons by repurposing some spaces in existing buildings and enhancing the programs offered.

    • email print
  • The Independence Parks and Recreation Department is trying to pick up some of the pieces left behind by the recent closing of the YMCA on East 32nd Street.
    In a presentation to the City Council Monday, director Eric Urfer outlined how Parks and Recreation hopes to fill part of the void for former YMCA patrons by repurposing some spaces in existing buildings and enhancing the programs offered.
    “(The closing) left quite a hole for residents,” City Manager Robert Heacock said before Urfer’s presentation. “We can optimize the use of existing facilities and work with the school district for those unmet needs.”
    Urfer said the YMCA’s closing simply expedited some of the enhancements his department had been considering. The Sermon Center and Truman Memorial Building will have some rooms repurposed for various family fitness programs, while those buildings, the Palmer Center and Henley Aquatic Center can accommodate programs for seniors. The Sermon Center also will offer early morning hours (starting at 5:30 a.m.) and an Early Bird membership.
    Currently, memberships for the Sermon Center are $30 per year, with additional programs being fee-based. Urfer said the proposed Early Bird membership would be $60 per year.
    Henley Aquatic Center, located at Bridger Middle School, already had been offering about 75 percent of the programs the YMCA had available, Urfer said, and could add the remaining programs. Adventure Oasis Park provides another aquatic alternative.
    Urfer said his department hopes to have the changes ironed out in a couple months.
    “The goal is to be ready to go when classes start back up in mid-August and kids are in school,” he said.
    In other business, Joe Gall and Doug Ault gave 353 Redevelopment Corporation annual reports.
    Gall, president of the Midtown/Truman Road Corridor (MTRC) Board, said his section had four properties approved for tax abatements in 2012, with more than $344,000 invested, bringing the total investment since the program’s inception to nearly $90 million.
    Four houses were removed from the program due to non-compliance, the same as the previous year. For now, Gall said, the board is more focused on maintaining status quo and not to look to add many houses into the program.
    “I think our main function is to maintain properties that have received tax abatements,” he said.
    Mayor Don Reimal asked Gall’s board to re-consider some, saying, “I think we’re cutting off our nose a little bit if we don’t allow other houses.”
    Ault, the treasurer for the Fairmount-Carlisle and St. Clair Park boards, reported 28 new abatements for the Fairmount-Carlisle section with $2.085 million invested, making the total $8.6 million since the program’s inception. St. Clair Park had one new abatement, making two total since the program started in 2010.
    Reimal noted that nearly $100 million has been invested since the 353 programs started.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It’s brought back neighborhoods that were on a downhill slide,” he said. “The more we continue this, the more we’ll continue to see neighborhoods improve.”
     
     

        calendar