Cassville Council approves YMCA contract

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

On Tuesday night, the Cassville City Council approved a contract with the Ozarks Regional YMCA, which allows the organization to continue to operate the city's recreational programs.

The approved contract decreases the funding provided by the city to the YMCA for the administration of recreational programs from $58,300 to $40,000 per year. Under the agreement, the YMCA will continue to operate the Cassville Aquatic Center and offer youth soccer, summer soccer camp, flag football and adult softball programs.

"I think we have come to an agreement on the contract," said Gordon Brown, Cassville and Monett YMCA executive director. "We appreciate working with the City of Cassville."

In January, Brown laid out a series of changes that would need to be made to the contract proposed by the city in order for the YMCA to accept a reduction in funding. Those changes included:

* The city pays for all pool chemicals, which are administered by city staff members.

* The city continues to pay for all utilities for the aquatic center and outdoor recreational programs. The YMCA pays for the rent and utilities for the facility on Highway 248.

* The city is responsible for all major equipment repairs and replacement costs at the aquatic center.

* The city would pay $450 for each free swim day and $750 for the Fourth of July if the YMCA is required to offer swim hours for those events.

All of the changes are included in the approved contract.

In a separate item of business, the aldermen adopted a change to the city's employee benefit program, which is administered by the Local Government Employees Retirement System (LAGERS). The change will increase the program's multiplier from 1 percent to 1.5 percent.

According to information presented by City Clerk Darelyn Cooper, if an employee is paid $32,000 annually and works for the city for 20 years, they will receive a retirement benefit of $533 per month using the current multiplier. The newly approved multiplier will allow the same employee to receive $800 per month in retirement funds.

The change to the benefit program brings Cassville in line with nearly half of the other municipalities that participate in LAGERS. The change will cost the city $4,067 per year or around $145 per employee annually.

Cooper compared the increased expense to a $5 per month benefit for each employee.

"This provides supplemental retirement income primarily for the young people who plan to stay with the city a long time," said Cooper. "It will be a nice supplement to Social Security."

The aldermen unanimously approved the change to the benefit program.

"The city staff has not gotten a raise in three years," said Alderman Darrell Ledenham. "I see this as a nice vote of confidence for our employees."

Alderman Terry Ledenham suggested the city use an independent agency or group to review and recommend changes for employee benefits in the future. Eugene Dilbeck, city administrator, said that the council could establish a benefits and compensation committee that would be responsible for researching benefits and making recommendations.

In new business, the council approved a three-year agreement with Yock's Mowin' Service. The business will be responsible for mowing the Greenway Trail, the re-enactment area, the Aquatic Park, the downtown city park, the wastewater treatment plant, the airport and the industrial park.

Yock's Mowin' Service will receive $32,630 per year for mowing services. An additional $280 will be paid each time the industrial park is mowed.

In other business, the Cassville City Council:

* Approved an ordinance that permits the use of contracts that extend the payment due date allowing utility users to catch up on payments and avoid disconnection of services.

* Heard that the city will be required to convert its storm sirens to narrow band in order to use them to warn residents about tornados.

* Approved a local street marking permit and a hold harmless agreement. Both forms will be required before any organization is allowed to place writing or other markings on city streets.

* Heard that the size and format of city utility bills will change at the end of March. The change is being made to avoid an increase in postage costs.

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