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County OKs deal for YMCA to run pools

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By The Staff

    SHEPHERDSVILLE - The three county swimming pools will take on a new management approach this summer.

    And they will take on a new appearance.

    Bullitt Fiscal Court unanimously approved a management agreement with the YMCA of Greater Louisville to operate the pools through the end of this season.

    The agreement must still be approved on Thursday by the Bullitt County YMCA board.

    Under the agreement, which has been months in the working, the county would provide maintenance, with the exception of everyday activities, and would also cover documented losses of up to $45,000 for the three months of operation.

    The newly-revamped Parks Board met last week and recommended the management agreement since the pools are slated to open by the end of May.

    Parks chairman Steve Larimore, a former county parks director, said it was a time sensitive issue and the board felt comfortable with the short-term arrangement.

    In looking at the agreement, county attorney Walter Sholar said his only addition would be to include language allowing the YMCA to retain any revenue generated at the pools.

    In looking at the county budget, Larimore said the board felt that there should be some type of financial support.

    “We felt we needed to provide the Y a safety net,” said Larimore.

    No agency would be able to break even the first year of operating the pools and Larimore said the board understood that situation.

    After the unanimous vote, YMCA executive director June Daugherty said it was time to go to work quickly.

    Applications are being taken for pool managers, lifeguards and swim instructors.

    As the repairs are being completed at the Bullitt Central pool so that all three will open on May 29, Daugherty said there is much work to be done.

    “I’m thrilled to be running the pools this summer,” said Daugherty. “I am looking for a long-term commitment but we will see what we can do this summer.”

    The original proposal, which was first discussed in late 2009 with magistrates, involved the YMCA taking over the management of the entire parks and recreation program.

    Since that time, the discussions have centered solely around the pools.

    Without the financial commitment of the county, Daugherty said she would not have taken the pool proposal back to her board for approval.

    While all the administrative things must be put into place, Daugherty said the key goal would be to transform the pools into a YMCA facility.

    “They will be a family party atmosphere,” she said of the pools. “We want to make it a family place to gather.”

    The pools will have picnic tables, umbrellas and lounge chairs. The hours will be from Noon until 6 p.m., seven days a week.

    Prior to opening, Daugherty said the pools would be used for YMCA swimming programs. After hours, she hopes to see an increase in pool rentals for parties.

    A grand reopening party for the Bullitt Central pool, which did not open last summer, will include a beach party theme, said Daugherty.

    Summer swimming passes will be available. She expects the cost to be $30 per month for an individual and $45 for a family.     The season passes must be purchased for three months and would be paid up front.

    The daily swimming fees will be $3.

    Daugherty could see some people taking advantage of a regular YMCA member, which runs $38 for a single and $58 for a family each month. That would include the swimming fees.

    Ultimately, Daugherty would like the YMCA to have the opportunity to partner with the county on its recreation programs. But she understood the parks board not wishing to rush into any decision.

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The agreement...

    The YMCA will provide the management, staffing and operation of the pools until Oct. 31, 2010. It will retain all revenue collected.

    The county will provide any major maintenance repairs on the three pools and will cover documented losses of up to $45,000 this summer.

    Pools will open on May 29 at Bullitt Central, Mount Washington and Maryville.