ROCKLAND, Maine — The city council voted unanimously Monday night to authorize the city manager to negotiate with the Penobscot Bay YMCA to take over the community’s recreation program.
Councilors said that they want terms that will benefit Rockland’s children.
The YMCA was the sole organization that submitted a letter of interest two weeks ago to operate the city’s recreation program.
The YMCA proposal calls for the organization to rent the Rockland Recreation Center building for $1 a year. The city would pay for utilities and other building-related costs, with total expenses projected to be less than $50,000 for 2015-2016.
The YMCA stated in its proposal that it plans to run the program through its existing staff but that if new positions were needed, existing Rockland recreation employees could apply. The city department has two full-time employees as well as three year-round part-time workers.
The city has turned to seeking an outside operator in an effort to save money.
The YMCA has its main complex in neighboring Rockport and a satellite center on the waterfront in Rockland, where after-school programs are held.
At the Monday night meeting, the council also rejected waivers of overnight docking fees for both the annual Windjammer Races, scheduled this year for July 3, and the annual lobster boat races set for June 20.
Councilor Louise MacLellan Ruf said she was insulted the matter was even put before the council in a year when the council has such a difficult time with its budget.
The proposed waiver for the lobster boats would have amounted to $1,400 and the waiver for the windjammers would have been $2,400.
MacLellan Ruf said both organizations can afford to pay the fees.
“We have to stop giving ourselves away,” MacLellan-Ruf said.