City and YMCA deal finished

Published 10:56pm Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Selma City Council awarded the only bidders to receive funds from an increased lodging fee levied on hotels within the city limits at Tuesday’s meeting.

The only health and fitness organization that submitted a bid for the funds was the YMCA of Selma.

The council went back from their original contract they entered into with the YMCA in late February, and city attorney Jimmy Nunn said they had to bid out who would receive a percentage of the money generated from the lodging fee. The original contract was approved for a term of three years with the stipulation that the mayor and council, after one year, could review and terminate the contract at any time.

Nunn said with Tuesday’s approval of the bid, the resolution, “shall reflect the same terms and conditions as specified by the city council and declare via a previous contract,” that was voted on and approved in February.

This contract said that 75 percent of the fee would contribute to the YMCA of Selma by providing funds for programming and the alleviation of their multi-million dollar debt — the reason the YMCA board first approached the council about using funds from a lodging fee in October.

The other 25 percent of the fee revenue will be collected by the city and go towards the restoration of the Brown YMCA — something several council members lobbied for continuously because of how they said it played a role in the African American community until it closed.

CEO for the YMCA of Selma, Bill Porter, said he was, “extremely happy, excited and thrilled” the bid was approved.

Though the YMCA of Selma has been waiting for an approval for several months of the funds to contribute to their organization, they will receive funds retroactively from Feb. 1 when the hotel lodging fee was increased to $1.50.

“This will definitely help sustain the YMCA for many years to come with that extra money coming in, “ Porter said. “It’s going to help sustain this YMCA and relieve some of the operations burden as far as the financial end is concerned and the long-term financial debt and also capital improvement.”

The funds the YMCA of Selma will receive annually are estimated between $100,000 to $150,000 but figures will be unknown due to fluctuating occupancy levels in the city.

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