In the end, the Charlottesville City Council moved the Piedmont Family YMCA proposal for a $12 million facility at McIntire Park one step closer, but not before grilling YMCA executive director Kurt Krueger. Councilors agreed to move the proposal to its second reading, which will most likely occur months from now as city and YMCA staffs negotiate terms of the lease and use agreements.
In order for the Piedmont Family YMCA proposal for a building in McIntire Park to go forward, the city still needs reassurance about swimming pool lanes.
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Councilors expressed concerns about the proposed facility, namely the lack of priority swim lanes dedicated to the Charlottesville High School swim team. After listening to questions from other councilors for a little more than 10 minutes, Councilor Julian Taliaferro zeroed in on Krueger.
Taliaferro said that he was concerned about the city’s lack of immediate representation on the YMCA board, the lack of concrete plans and costs, as well as the practice of residents having to show tax returns and pay stubs to prove that they qualify for financial assistance.
"I have a real problem with the way this thing’s presented right now," he said to Krueger. The audience, many of whom expressed opposition to a YMCA in McIntire Park, burst into applause.
Krueger seemed taken aback. It took him a couple of seconds to begin to respond. But when he did, he explained that the reason the YMCA proposal lacks certain specifics—namely a hard dollar amount, architectural drawings and site plans—was that it has been cooperating with the city’s Parks and Recs department, which asked it to hold off on more solid plans until it is able to create a master plan for the park.
Of the 13 people who spoke during public comment, eight of them opposed the YMCA in its current form and location in McIntire Park. Downtown resident Colette Hall said that the YMCA should be built at Piedmont Virginia Community College, a site that has already approved plans for a YMCA facility.
Of the eight that opposed the Y, almost all of them expressed concerned that the city would give up three to five acres of green space in McIntire Park, though councilor Kevin Lynch pointed out that the space where the YMCA would be built is currently a softball field.
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