Monday, December 4, 2023

YMCA: We will pay for the erosion fix


The confusion as to whether taxpayers will have to foot the estimated $12,000 bill for repairs needed to the grounds of the Hood County YMCA has been cleared up: they won’t.

Turns out, it was a misunderstanding.

Todd Baker, chief property officer for the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth, told the county judge and commissioners at Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Commissioners Court that the Y had merely wanted to get input from county officials about their plans to repair erosion damage.

“I don’t think that the intention was ever that the county would be required to make the repairs,” Baker stated. “We just wanted to make sure we did it right.”

Erosion on the grounds of the county-owned facility was discussed at the previous Commissioners Court meeting because Maintenance Director Jay Riley and Personnel Director Melissa Welborn sought guidance from the elected officials after becoming aware of the problem.

No representatives of the Y were present and members of the Commissioners Court, as well as Riley, Welborn and County Attorney Matt Mills, were not with the county when the original partnership agreement was struck.

Voters approved construction of the $10 million facility located at 1475 James Road but the county leases it to the YMCA for $1 per year. Although there is a contract between the county and the Y, vague language led to confusion over which party was responsible for the repair bill.

A pledge of support from the county was how the Y was enticed to come here years ago. The Hood County YMCA originally used a county-owned building on Harbor Lakes Drive but outgrew that building. Voters approved construction of a new facility to be used by the Y in 2012.

The 20-minute discussion at the January meeting revealed that an oversight committee that was to have been formed when the structure was built and was to include county representatives never materialized.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the court unanimously approved a motion by Precinct 2 Commissioner Nannette Samuelson to create a Hood County YMCA Oversight Committee that will meet quarterly and will include two members of the Commissioners Court, the county’s maintenance director, the county’s personnel director, and two members from the YMCA selected by the management of the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth.

The court also unanimously agreed for Samuelson and Precinct 3 Commissioner Jack Wilson to be its representatives on that committee.