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City Releases Statement on Future of Sports Park, Little League

The city will sit down with baseball and softball leagues to try and find common ground before a decision is made about the future of the Sports Park and Recreation Center, statement released Wednesday said.

A statement was released Wednesday afternoon by Imperial Beach Mayor Jim Janney which states that the city wants the YMCA to manage its recreational center, but want to first sit down with baseball and softball leagues to come up with a "win-win decision for the community."

Though no public vote or discussion has taken place about turning control of the Sports Park and Recreation Center over to the YMCA, the city has talked with outside entities about a possible takeover since this spring.

The statement released Wednesday goes on to say no deal has been set yet and before a decision is made about the future of the area for IB's youth.

Before a deal is struck with the YMCA, "staff will meet with YMCA, Little League and Girls Softball to create points of agreement beneficial to all." Staff will then report the result of meetings to City Council. At least one public meeting will be held, the statement said.

IB Patch reported in September that the city wants to turn control of its rec center to the YMCA in order to save roughly $200,000 a year.

The city held closed-door meetings in September and again last week to discuss "price and terms of payment" to the YMCA. Plans to release the statement Wednesday were announced by City Attorney Jennifer Lyon at the end of last week's meeting when notifying the public that no action was taken in closed session.

This fall tearful Sports Park employees and teens who frequent the rec center spoke during public comment at a council meeting. Many expressed concern over cost increases to use the facilities and urged the city to form a committee to help guide the decision making process for youth activities in IB.

Imperial Beach Little League and IB Girls Softball leagues have been expressed concern with the possibility that baseball and softball fields may be eliminated if the YMCA takes over the facility and its lands.

IBLL President Don Spicer also expressed outrage in a letter to Little League familes over the fact that they were not notified early in the process about talks with the YMCA and that the city is putting its financial troubles on its young people.

According to 2010 Census Data, near one in five IB residents lives below the poverty line, compared to 12.3 and 13.7 San Diego County and California averages.

One in four IB residents are below the age of 18.

The city plans to make a decision on the future of the Sports Park in early 2013, said City Manager Gary Brown.

dylan michael hodorowich December 14, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Hi my name is Dylan hodorowich my sister alexus hodorowich we both have been going to the sports park for a while i have been going to the sports park since i was a lil boy i have been playing basketball since i was 4 years old this is my home this is a place were i come to enjoy my self and enjoy the staff and other students to see this place go down is to see a part of me go away so "ibcalif" and "john galt" what gives you the right to say the ymca is better because its really not ive been there and its really not as good its a nice place but its just not the same well hope you actualy take the time to think about it this place is home to lots of people thanks you
ibcalif December 14, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Libi and the unions: get off the cross, somebody needs the wood.
ibcalif December 14, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Libi and the unions: get off the cross, somebody needs the wood.
Mitchell D. McKay December 21, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I do recall a financial impact report I had prepared when the IBLL was trying to work with the City Manager to avoid a "Pay to Play" scenario back in 2000-2001 and we documented that the IBLL alone was contributing between $4000 and $6000 per year on Field Maintenance (included new fencing, new dugouts, lighting, & other building upgrades) - this was money the City did not have to spend on the facilities they are now trying to turn into a "profit center". We also calculated that the volunteer effort required (coaches, managers, Board of Directors, concession stand staff) to support just IBLL (even at minimum wage) was in excessive of $200K per year. And all these community services were specifically for the young people of Imperial Beach...a service which the City could NEVER afford to fund, much less staff. I for one, say to the City "Hands Off" of IBLL and Girls Softball!!!
Stephanie Kinnamon January 03, 2013 at 11:09 PM
The City and IBLL have a 1 year contract until Aug. 2013, but if they want out they have to give IBLL 120 days notice (see the attached pdf). Has that happened? http://saveibball.com/images/2012_City_Contract.pdf

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