Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Partnership with YMCA can benefit all

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Dec. 28, 2013 at 6:28 a.m.

Victoria's curbside recycling program began in February 2012. Since that time, it has become a successful part of the city of Victoria's services.

When it was first implemented, city leaders estimated about 40 percent of residents would participate in the program. Today, that number is up to 70 percent with as much as 80 percent of residents participating in the past, Breanna Plunkett, Victoria environmental services education specialist, said in a previous article.

That is exciting news for the Victoria community. Recycling is a valuable service that helps preserve our environment in multiple ways. The more items that are recycled, the fewer items go into the landfill. The materials that are recycled are also broken down and reused in new forms. What was once a business report printout can become a newspaper, which is then turned into a fast-food bag, which can be turned into another item. The cycle reduces the need for new harvesting of natural resources and helps protect the environment for future generations.

We encourage all of our Victoria readers to take advantage of the free, curbside service offered by the city.

To find out when your pickup day is, go online to the city's website and look under the environmental services tab.

Now that curbside recycling is such a success in the community, we hope that the city will find a similarly successful way to approach the issue of restoring the Gary T. Moses Municipal Pool. The city's pool is 33 years old and needs serious work. Earlier this year, the city paid $50,000 for a study to help determine what the best course of action would be.

Now, the city faces the choice of paying $6 million or more to put in a concept proposed by the parks commission or partnering with the Victoria YMCA.

Chris Seilkop, president and CEO of YMCA of the Golden Crescent, has offered the city of Victoria a partnership. If the city invests $1 million in the YMCA's $4 million expansion - which includes a $1.5 million pool expansion - the city can partner with the YMCA for pool use. The fee would be $3 per person. The fee at the current pool is $1.50 per person.

The offer from the YMCA sounds like a good deal for the city. By investing one-sixth of the price, the city will give residents access to a brand new pool with swimming lanes, water slides, a spray pad and a children's area. The YMCA has served the community for many years and has a strong reputation for community involvement. This would be a good partner for the city and an excellent way to save taxpayer money while also serving the needs of residents.

We encourage the city to carefully review and consider the proposal from the YMCA of the Golden Crescent. A good, safe pool is a necessity during South Texas summers.

If the price is right and the source is trustworthy, why not make the investment?

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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