Several community members protested in front of City Hall on Wednesday, in an effort to save their local YMCA. The operating hours of the Melrose YMCA branch in Walnut Hills have been cut in half. TheFull Story >
Branch members said the shorter hours will make visiting the YMCA more difficult. They also believe the reduction of operating hours could lead to officials closing the facility for good.Full Story >
A reduction in hours for a local YMCA branch has many members wondering if its not a prelude to being shut down. The operating hours of the Melrose YMCA branch are being cut in half. Beginning nextFull Story >
A reduction in hours for a local YMCA branch has members wondering if it's a prelude to being shut down.
A group of residents spoke out about a local YMCA on Thursday. Members of the community held a news conference, saying the YMCA wants to close down the Melrose Avenue location, despite an increase inFull Story >
Members of the community held a news conference, saying the YMCA wants to close down the Melrose Avenue location, despite an increase in membership and other progress with the branch. YMCA officials denied the claim.Full Story >
After struggling to save their local YMCA branch from closing last year, members of the Melrose branch say they're worried their fight may not be over. Some members say they're concerned that membershipFull Story >
After struggling to save their local YMCA branch from closing last year, members of the Melrose branch say they're worried their fight may not be over. Full Story >
The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati Board of Directors announced that they will be keeping the membership services at the Melrose YMCA in Walnut Hills open.Full Story >
WALNUT HILLS, OH ( FOX19) -
An all-member meeting was held Thursday
evening at the Bush Recreation to discuss the future of the Melrose YMCA.
After the operating hours of the Melrose YMCA branch in Walnut Hills were
cut in half, members argued that the shorter hours would make visiting their local
branch difficult and worried it would eventually close altogether.
a level of frustration that's just boiling over in me," said YMCA member Sheila
Benner. "It's a marvelous, marvelous facility, it's a family Y and its exactly
what's needed in the inner city and the urban core."
Officials with Cincinnati YMCA say the schedule changes at the Melrose
location were needed to help close a $300,000 budget deficit.
Last week, city leaders revealed a plan to keep the YMCA open for two more
years in addition to restoring more hours for members.
In the deal, the Melrose YMCA would get up to $200,000 from the City of
Cincinnati. With those added funds, the Melrose branch would add 20 hours back
per week through April 2015.
The deal, however, was rejected.
"We did not
accept that offer again because it didn't give us what we asked," said Melrose
YMCA Board Chair, Sam Malone. "It was not a reflection of the resolution
that city council had gave us which was the total restoration of those hours."
Board member Victoria Evans explained how
funding was being diverted away from the Melrose YMCA.
"They used our
demographics and our needs based children to request that funding," explained
Evans. "But when it comes back into the YMCA its not distributed to us."
Malone and other board members say they were
surprised to find out that YMCA CEO, Sandy Walker, had dissolved the board.
"The greater Cincinnati YMCA is not
recognizing the Melrose board and I'm very offended by that and I'm very
disturbed by that fact because it does not allow our voice to be heard," argued
FOX19 reached out to YMCA Association CEO
Sandy Walker. Walker declined to comment on camera.
Walker's communication director Kathy Lehr
did attend the membership meeting and also declined to comment on camera. However, Lehr did provide the following
"No one in senior management at the YMCA of
Greater Cincinnati has been in negotiations with Sam Malone about the Melrose
YMCA. We have not heard from the community in response to the proposal
from the Y regarding Melrose."
Lehr told FOX19 reporters that the Melrose YMCA
Board was being merged with the Board of the Carl Linder Branch. However, Lehr
had no details on exactly how that was to be done.
YMCA members plan to be out in the Walnut Hills area on March 16 going
door-to-door to heighten community awareness about the fate of their
Board chair Sam
Malone has filed a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General's office alleging
that money that should have gone to the Melrose YMCA was diverted to suburban