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Sherwood seeks firm for YMCA feasibility study

SUBMITTED PHOTO - The city is seeking a firm to conduct a feasibility study to evaluate possible management options for the Sherwood Family YMCA. Proposals are due by July 1.The city of Sherwood is looking for a consulting firm to conduct a feasibility study to evaluate possible management options for the Sherwood Family YMCA.

Sherwood has sent out a request for proposal for firms to conduct a market analysis, financial analysis, operations and programing along with making recommendations for a management structure of the 56,000-square-foot facility, which is owned by the city but run by the YMCA.

Although there had originally been plans to conduct the feasibility study in-house, that has changed.

“We’re going to go out and get some outside expertise,” said City Manager Joe Gall. “The reason we’re going to do that is because we don’t have in-house expertise.”

While $45,000 has been set aside for the study in the upcoming budget, Gall said hopes are it will come in under that amount.

Whether the city will sign a new contract with the Sherwood YMCA to continue operating the facility or have a different group run it has been a point of contention for several years now, and some have speculated the issue will be a campaign issue for candidates running for the Sherwood City Council or mayor in November.

Earlier this year, YMCA officials predicted it would cost an extra $1.5 million annually if the city decides to have someone run the facility.

The city built the facility in 1996 by passing a general obligation bond vote, then signing a 20-year contract with the YMCA in 1998 to operate the facility.

Gall said a decision on whether or not to renew the contract must be made by October 2017 because both parties must give the other one year notice if they don’t plan to renew the contract.

“The sooner we can get the study done the better because then we can see what our options are and move forward,” said Gall.

The deadline to submit proposals is July 1.