Yorkville City Council and Park Board members spent more than an hour discussing the behind closed doors Tuesday without reaching any apparent decisions on the leased facility.
“Thanks, you guys,” Mayor Gary Golinski said as the group disbursed. “And we’ll be talking some more.”
Golinski said the group is trying to discern whether it is financially viable to purchase the building, which the city has operated at a loss since July 2008. They also are committed to operating the facility so its expenses match its revenues.
In June, the same group of city leaders came to a consensus that they wanted to explore purchasing the building, renegotiating the lease terms or moving the recreation facility to another site. (For more financial details, see this post.)
City leaders need to decide by December whether they are going to continue leasing the past June 2013. Under the 2008 agreement, the city could purchase the for about $4 million, continue the lease through 2018, or opt out of the agreement in June 2013 but pay at least $100,000 as a financial penalty.
Leaders also could negotiate new terms with Walker Custom Homes. Ron Walker, who owned Club 47 before the city leased the building and its customer base, he was open to negotiations. He attended the brief public portion of Tuesday’s meeting but did not participate in the closed session.
The joint meeting Tuesday came after city staff reviewed the history of the city’s recreation programs and some financial information.
The city pursued the lease after a survey, commissioned in November 2007, showed city residents ranked their top five needs from the recreation department as: paved bike trails, outdoor recreation pool, a facility dedicated to fitness and wellness, an indoor recreation pool and a recreation center with gym and instructional rooms, said Laura Schraw, interim director of parks and recreation.
Previously, after the Recreation Department moved out of the , the city paid about $38,400 per year to rent office space, program space at Parkview School, and preschool space at Congregational Church, said Tim Evans, superintendent of parks and special events.
The city pays $18,500 monthly rent, with that figure set to increase $500 a month every July 1 through the existing lease. The city also pays the property taxes, which increased from $53,000 to $60,000 this year, and maintains most of the building.
The city has earned about $45,000 more in programming revenue this fiscal year compared to last fiscal year since moving the administrative offices and preschool to the building, Evans said. He expects to see a similar drop in revenue if the city moves programs out of the facility as the public adjusts to the location change.
Meanwhile, Evans expects to reduce the operating deficit month-over-month as the fiscal year progresses. For example, he projects a $51,000 to $53,000 deficit in November 2011, compared to the $90,337 deficit in November 2010.