by Emily Lewy
The Lumpkin County Parks and Recreation Department and The Georgia Mountains YMCA will hold two public hearings at Park & Rec, 365 Riley Road, Dahlonega to receive comments on the YMCA proposed management of the County Park & Rec programs and operations.
Public Hearing times are: Monday, November 15 at 7:00 PM and Thursday, November 18 at 9:00 AM.
This is a matter that has slipped quietly sort of under the radar of most residents. Most will not know enough about what is being proposed to be able to ask questions. And many questions need to be asked.
- Why would the county contemplate turning over operations of a county department to a private concern?
I can only presume that county management finds the department too costly in the current economic situation. Continued operations would require increases in the costs for participants that will be politically unpopular. Therefore, turning operations over to a private group allows that group to make decisions without concern for voter backlash.
Let me be very clear, I think is just as, if not more, appropriate for an organization like YMCA to operate an organization like Park & Rec as it is for the county to do so, however, I have a lot of problems with and questions about the proposal.
- Will county residents have to pay a fee to the YMCA to use the Park & Rec building?
- Will county residents have to pay a fee to the YMCA to use ball fields?
- Will county residents have to pay a fee to the YMCA to use trails?
- Will dogs be allowed in the parks?
- Will county residents have to pay to park at these county facilities?
- Will the YMCA pay rental fees for the use of property owned by taxpayers?
- Will the county have financial obligations for the property maintenance?
- Will the county have financial obligations for employee benefits, etc.?
- Will the YMCA have the ability to alter the physical layout, building, topography, walking trails, green space, etc. of this taxpayer owned property?
- What is the time frame of any proposed contract?
- Is an out provided for the YMCA in the event that finances fail to meet expectations?
- Is an out provided for county residents if they are not pleased with YMCA operations?
- What is the financial benefit to Lumpkin County taxpayers?
- Why are the Public Hearings being held by the Parks & Rec Department and The Georgia Mountains YMCA and not by the Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners?
Please attend the meetings and bring your own questions! This proposal is for control of county property to be turned over to a private entity. This may not be the first time such a thing has happened; but is this the way we want taxpayer assets to be used?