Geneva City Council warms to turning ice rink over to HWS

Finger Lakes Times

City Council might not be ready for a massive overhaul of how recreation is delivered, but it appears open to finding ways to reduce costs, identify duplicative programs and possibly turn over ice rink operation to Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

That’s the take from a discussion Friday, the third and final day of City Council’s annual retreat, which looks to identify city priorities in the coming year.

A group that includes the Geneva Boys and Girls Club and the Geneva YMCA is recommending a major overhaul of how recreation programs are delivered. The proposal would essentially see the city getting mostly out of the recreation business by contracting with those organizations for services. The group, citing a study that was conducted on Geneva recreation services, also recommends the city turn over the money-losing ice rink to Hobart and William Colleges in a 30-year lease.

All told, the group suggested the city could save $500,000 if it did so.

However, City Manager Sage Gerling reiterated on Friday what she said in a Finger Lakes Times story last past week: That the savings from turning the ice rink over to HWS were inflated because the costs borne by the Department of Public Works connected to the facility’s maintenance were overestimated because Recreation performs most functions.

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