Interim city manager touts major savings should Council go with Genesee YMCA to provide youth services
Tear up the contract with Genesee County and sign a new one with the Genesee Area Family YMCA.
That is what Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski believes is the best course of action when it comes to providing services to Batavia’s young people, beginning with the start of the 2021-22 fiscal year on April 1.
Tabelski, in memos to City Council, points to significant cost savings by letting YMCA staff run the city youth program and additional savings by ending the intermunicipal agreement with the county that provided an executive director to oversee both county and city youth programs.
Both measures are on the agenda of Monday night’s Conference Meeting at the City Hall Council Board Room. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 o’clock.
Council charged Tabelski, in conjunction with the City Youth Advisory Board, to send out a request for proposal for organizations interested in delivering youth services, specifically at the Liberty Center for Youth on the City Church St. Anthony’s Campus at 114 Liberty St. and during a summer recreation program at city playgrounds.
In a memo dated Feb. 15, she said the city received two proposals and one “no” bid. After scoring the two and interviewing YMCA personnel, the selection committee gave the nod to the YMCA, which received the top score.
The proposed agreement with the YMCA, per the memo, stipulates that the YMCA “will provide (services) equivalent or better than the youth services the city has provided in the past, the term … is for four years and matches the lease terms (with City Church) to use the Liberty Center for Youth, and the agreement can be cancelled with 60 days’ notice by any party.”
Tabelski wrote that the city will save $69,639 in expenses for the first year and approximately $261,461 over the life of the agreement, assuming an annual 2.5-percent increase in cost to the city via wage increases, etc.
A chart showing the cost to the city was included in the memo, and reads as follows:
- City provided service, $239,516, Rent, $13,200; Community Garden, $1,000. Total, $253,716.
- City provided service, $245,504; Rent, $13,200; Community Garden, $1,000; Total, $259,704.
- YMCA Cost per Agreement, $175,865; Rent, $13,200; Community Garden, $1,000; Total, $190,065; Savings, $69,639.
- City provided service, $251,641; Rent, $13,200; Community Garden, $1,000; Total, $265,841.
- YMCA Cost per Agreement, $184,658; Rent, $13,200; Community Garden, $1,000; Total, $198,858; Savings, $66,983.
- City provided service, $257,933; Rent, $13,200; Community Garden, $1,000; Total, $272,133.
- YMCA Cost per Agreement, $193,890; Rent, $13,200; Community Garden, $1,000; Total, $208.090; Savings, $64,043.
- City provided service, $264,381; Rent, $13,200; Community Garden, $1,000; Total, $278,581.
- YMCA Cost per Agreement, $203,585; Rent, $13,200; Community Garden, $1,000; Total, $217,785; Savings, $60,796.
The total savings from 2021-2025 add up to $261,461.
While the “City provided service” line increases by 2.5 percent each year, the “YMCA Cost per agreement” line increases by 5 percent each year.
When asked why the city would experience a 2.5-percent annual increase in costs and the YMCA contract was going up by 5 percent annually, Tabelski said that is what the YMCA is requesting.
As far as the annual costs for running the two programs, services at the Liberty Center for Youth will cost the city about $35,000 more than what it will pay for summer recreation.
Pact with County No Longer Necessary
Furthermore, Tabelski wrote that the city will save $21,711 over the 2021-22 fiscal year by terminating the agreement with Genesee County – a pact that began in 2011 and enabled one person to direct both the county and city youth programs.
Jocelyn Sikorski resigned as executive director late in 2020, a year that saw the Liberty Center for Youth having to close due to COVID-19 concerns and the city to cut youth program staffing due to budget constraints.
In her memo, Tabelski reported that there would be no need for an agreement with the county if Council approves the YMCA taking over, and that the city manager would oversee the youth services contract.
City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr., contacted today, said he is pleased to see the cost savings and added that he had confidence in the YMCA, which currently has a shared services agreement with the city at the Liberty Center for Youth.
“As it appears now, it would be very difficult to turn away the large savings for the same service,” he said. “I can’t speak for other Council members, but in my mind, saving a quarter of million dollars over five years and have the Y do it at the same location, is definitely something I have to consider.”