“Going to the Y-M-C-A”

Published 12:57 pm Monday, March 15, 2021

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Polk to consider MOU with YMCA to take over rec programs

COLUMBUS—Polk County Commissioners will consider a memorandum of understanding on Monday night for the Spartanburg area YMCA to take over county recreation programs. 

Commissioners will meet at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 15. 

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The MOU is strictly for the YMCA to take over the county’s programming for now, including the youth portions of the recreation department as well as Gibson pool. 

Polk County Manager Marche Pittman said this week, if approved, the YMCA would run the programs without any additional funding from the county, with the exception of maintenance on the facilities, such as the pool and Stearns Gym. 

Pittman said the Spartanburg YMCA the county is working with has intentions of expanding what the county currently offers and hopefully, the partnership will lead to a facility in the future. 

“Our recreation department will still be in existence to continue taking care of trails, facilities and pursuing future grant opportunities,” Pittman said. 

He also said the county recreation department will also still exist to take care of a host of other activities the YMCA does not currently offer. 

Pittman said the county and YMCA intend to partner for them to come in and demonstrate what they are good at, and that is taking care of kids and taking care of people. 

“It’s just a different way of looking at recreation in the county,” Pittman said. 

The YMCA is proposed to take over all the youth recreation leagues and run the swimming pool for now. The county’s recreation department will focus more on trails and trail maintenance and seeking grants and the county will still have a recreation board. 

Pittman said the YMCA could down the road ask for county funding for future capital needs. 

He also said the YMCA offers a grant program for parents who cannot afford programs for their children. 

The plan is for the YMCA to immediately begin learning the county’s programs and to take over this summer during summer camp. 

Monday’s meeting is at 5 p.m. in the R. Jay Foster Hall of Justice, located in the Womack building in Columbus. 

Public comments can be made in person as well as online by sending comments to ahigh@polknc.org, which will be read to commissioners at the meeting. 

The meeting can also be listened to over the phone by calling 1-800-753-1965, access code 8946129 or by watching it live streamed on Polk County Local Government’s Facebook page. 

The number of residents allowed at the meeting will be based upon Governor Roy Cooper’s executive order and anyone who attends the meeting is urged to practice social distancing and wear face coverings while inside the building.