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Many questions remain regarding YMCA proposal

Posted: July 7, 2011 11:59 a.m.
Updated: July 8, 2011 5:00 a.m.

I have been closely following the debate about creating a YMCA facility here in Camden. As much as I would like to be able to enjoy a year-round indoor pool, I cannot agree with our city leaders that this is the best use of my hospitality tax money. First of all, the Recreation Department already operates a successful pool and owns enough adjoining land that the pool could be enclosed, a gym could be built, and new offices that the department desperately needs could be housed in the same facility on Battleship Road. Second, do we need an outside entity competing with a top notch recreation department? Is this what the citizens of Kershaw County want? Third, exactly how is a YMCA going to attract tourist to our area? Fourth, is it legal to use hospitality tax money on such an amenity? Someone needs to contact the State’s Attorney General Office and ask for an opinion on the legality of this issue. Next, since this public-private enterprise will be competing with several private facilities that offer the same services, how will this increase our tax base if these private facilities are forced to close?

For all of you readers who feel that your input has been ignored by our city leaders; it probably has. However, you do have the following recourse at your disposal: flood the local newspaper with letters, attend all city council meetings when this issue is to be discussed (overwhelm City Hall), write your councilman expressing your displeasure, or vote for new city leaders in the next election.

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