Bettendorf’s Life Fitness Center may go to YMCA in ‘trade’ | Local

Bettendorf and YMCA leaders are speaking concerning the chance the Y might take over the Life Fitness Center in trade for cash for a brand new metropolis swimming pool.

City Administrator Decker Ploehn stated Thursday the events have been “in conversations” concerning the Y buying the city-owned recreation heart at 2222 Middle Road. However, members of Friends of the Bettendorf Parks Foundation stated they’ve been informed, “It’s a completed deal.”

In trade for the Life Fitness Center, the Y would give the town a yet-to-be-determined amount of cash to go towards a brand new water park to exchange Splash Landing, Ploehn stated.

The spokesman for the YMCA didn’t reply Thursday to requests for remark.

The metropolis expects to rent a agency inside a few month to design the water park, he stated. While it presently exists solely as an idea, early price estimates place it at $18 million.

“We have substantial monies to place right into a pool, however it’s nowhere close to the estimate,” Ploehn stated. “We have $6 million in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds unallocated, and there might be different cash from different sources. There is also grant sources.”

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The metropolis additionally has put aside about $3 million for the pool mission. With the ARPA cash and that which is already budgeted, the estimated shortfall can be about $9 million, however Ploehn stated he’s not but ready to say how a lot the YMCA can be prepared to contribute.

He stated the Life Fitness Center presently was valued at $1.4 million.

In addition to taking exception to the estimated worth of the property, longtime Friends of Bettendorf Parks Foundation Chairman Matt Mooney stated he and others within the group are pissed off by the dearth of transparency by metropolis officers in planning for the amenities.

“If it is such an awesome deal, why is not the City Council shouting about it?” Mooney requested Thursday. “If it is so nice, why not shout it from the rooftops?”

He additionally has issues about how kids can be affected by the lack of the Life Fitness Center.

“Our mission is to assist youngsters who cannot afford recreation packages,” Mooney stated. “The youngsters who cannot afford our packages cannot afford Y packages.

“The new pool will belong to Bettendorf, however the Y can be operating it. They wish to transfer their tumbling and gymnastics packages to the Life Fitness Center.

“We have been informed our children might go to the downtown group heart, which has now been closed and vacant for 2 years.”

Ploehn stated members of the City Council had been clear they didn’t want to proceed to pay for the working losses at Life Fitness Center, that are projected to exceed $300,000 this yr. He stated an rising variety of “boutique health facilities” and YMCA places are making it more and more tough to maintain the city-owned heart.

He additionally acknowledged {that a} seasonal swimming pool is not going to be a cash maker. Splash Landing Aquatic Center is dropping about $175,000 yearly, Ploehn stated. Asked whether or not debt service on an estimated $18 million facility would add to the burden, he stated the town plans to provide you with sufficient money to pay for it outright.

“Is the town simply right here to serve the Y?” Mooney requested. “I’m not knocking the Y, and I’m not knocking the pool. The metropolis ought to have a pool.

“But parks do not earn cash. They serve a objective. We’ve heard about how the Life Fitness Center should not compete with non-public enterprise, however the metropolis places thousands and thousands into the golf course.”

For longtime member of the Friends of Bettendorf Parks Foundation board and retired Parks Department worker Becky Alberson, the lack of the Life Fitness Center would imply the lack of invaluable house.

It is used to retailer numerous leisure provides and as a bad-weather shelter for teenagers in summer time packages, amongst different issues, she stated.

“Our aim was to enhance the standard of life for the residents of Bettendorf,” Alberson stated. “If we’re a premiere metropolis, we must always have premiere programming. It’s virtually like they’re making an attempt to do away with the recreation division.”

To Tim Conrad, treasurer for Friends of Bettendorf Parks Foundation, the town ought to clarify how the Life Fitness Center is extra of a legal responsibility than every other metropolis amenity.

“They stated they do not wish to be within the health enterprise, however they do the museum, the library, the golf course; none of these issues earn cash both,” he stated. “None of our facilities are cash makers.

“The Fit (health heart) fills numerous roles folks aren’t conscious of.”

Before placing an settlement with the YMCA, members of the Friends Foundation stated, the town ought to discover a strategy to retain entry to at the very least some parts of the constructing, together with the one remaining indoor tennis courts within the Iowa Quad-Cities.

“One of the most important issues we do is elevate cash for households who do not fairly have sufficient for some packages,” Alberson stated. “With a brand new pool, the associated fee to get in is certain to go up. And the pool is one thing that is solely out there a couple of months out of the yr.”

The metropolis and the Y haven’t formally opened negotiations, Ploehn stated, however the design for the brand new water park needs to be accomplished by fall. The metropolis spent a substantial sum of cash on a recreation examine a number of years in the past, and the potential switch of the Life Fitness Center is one end result.

“We’re working with the Y, and we could have an answer,” he stated.

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