We strongly encourage support of proposed fee

Published 2:39pm Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Thursday, the Selma City Council will hold their first meeting of the new year and included in their work session will be a discussion on the proposed lodging fee — a fee that would support both the YMCA and the city of Selma.

The idea for an additional lodging fee, two-thirds of which would go to the YMCA and the other third going to the city, has drawn others who want part of the revenue from the additional fee.

Knowing that this measure will soon come to a vote, we strongly encourage the council to consider the fee, because the long-term financial foundation of the YMCA of Selma-Dallas County is important. The Selma-Dallas County YMCA is battling financial struggles. While this additional fee — which would be $3 per room, per night on all Selma hotel rooms — would go to support the YMCA of Selma and partially, the city’s operating fund, it does not solve the current, more immediate funding concern for the YMCA. The YMCA has reached an agreement with two financial institutions, which hold two thirds of the YMCA’s debt, which would allow the YMCA to retire that debt quickly.

In the agreement, the YMCA needed to raise $1 million by Dec. 31. In exchange, the institutions would wipe away an additional $1 million in debt. Combined, this deal would eliminate two-thirds of the Y’s debt associated with the construction of the current YMCA.

We ask that the city council think long and hard about the benefits the Y brings our community and suggest voting yes on the hotel lodging fee.

  • popdukes12

    “the YMCA needed to raise $1 million by Dec. 31″……..well, did that happen? If not, the additional support from a lodging tax is a mute point. pops

    • Dennis Palmer

      No, the money was not raised per a previous story we published last week. And I strongly believe the city council is smart enough to understand that if the YMCA were to close, the lodging fee, if enacted, should be discontinued. Also, it’s “moot” point, not “mute” point. I debated on whether to point that out in a public forum, but I see the mistake often, so I felt compelled to point it out. Thanks for sharing your opinion.

      • popdukes12

        This isn’t the first time one would have had to read a story from a week earlier to be “in the know” enough to keep up with the current article. I usually read all the articles but must have missed the one last week. Now, as to discontinuing a fee or tax when something is discontinued, I must ask why nothing has been mentioned concerning the adjusting of sales tax, property tax, or license fees due to the city discontinuing it’s garbage function. This service was costly, and can’t be separated out by looking at the city budget. The discontinuing of the service should be a “windfall” for the city in terms of excess revenue. Had it been priced properly, and managed properly, this function could have remained under the city. If this company doesn’t renew the contract in three years, the city will have a big expense to get back in the business. Remember this was the only company to have bidded on the service. I’ve not heard one mentioning of any cost reductions to the public from a council person or the STJ concerning this extra revenue (from discontinuing the garbage service). When the current administration discontinues a fee or tax I’ll bring my ice skates and we can skate under the Pettus Bridge. pops

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