Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 12/07/2016  

SUBJECT MATTER:
Receive, consider and act upon budget amendments and other actions related to operations of the facility formerly known as the YMCA at Creekside Park;
FISCAL IMPACT:
Capital Expenditures
In the Township's adopted 2017 Budget, the Board authorized the establishment of a $6.0 million Parks and Recreation Capital Projects Fund as a potential funding source for various capital projects that were under consideration by the Board during the 2017 budget process.  On October 26, 2016, the Board authorized utilization of the Parks and Recreation Capital Projects Fund to pay for property acquisition costs of $4.5 million for the facility formerly known as the YMCA at Creekside Park plus associated closing costs.  

Parks and Recreation staff has identified an additional $500,000 in capital improvements for the acquired facility which, if approved, would also be funded by the Parks and Recreation Capital Projects Fund.  A summary of the
capital improvements follows:
  • $225,000  Facility improvements including office space and rooms for recreational programs
  • $100,000  Fitness equipment
  • $  60,000  Mule/ATV and other facility maintenance equipment
  • $  30,000  Repairs to tipis and trails
  • $  30,000  Signage and entry marquee 
  • $  30,000  Provide electricity to outdoor facilities
  • $  25,000  Archery range
 Operating Revenues and Expenditures
The Township's adopted 2017 Budget includes $100,000 for net operating costs associated with the new recreation facility.  Although at the time the budget was adopted a business plan for the facility had not yet been developed, a preliminary estimate of $100,000 was included in the budget as a "placeholder" for anticipated net costs during the new recreation facility's first year of operations.  

Subsequent to the adoption of the 2017 Budget, Parks and Recreation staff has developed a "Former Creekside Park YMCA Operational and Business Plan".  The draft plan is attached for the Board's review, and a summary follows:
 
 $347,880     Operating revenue for 2017
($556,784)    Operating expenditures for 2017
($208,904)    Net operating cost for 2017 

In  2017, expenses related to  the facility are anticipated to be more than the revenue collected due in part to operating less than the full year and with a limited schedule of programs and services during the spring program cycle.  Additionally, costs associated with bringing a facility online will be incurred.  However, the Recreation Division as a whole is projected to recover 100.15% of total expenses when The Woodlands Recreation Center and the new facility in Creekside Park are factored together ($3.276 million revenue; $3.271 million expenditures).

In 2018, the first full year of operation for the new recreation facility, revenues are forecasted to be $839,000 and expenditures are forecasted at $773,543, resulting in net revenues of $65,457.  The Recreation Division as a whole is projected to have a cost recovery factor of 108% ($3.856 million revenue; $3.569 million expenditures). For years 2019-2021, the Recreation Division maintains a cost recovery factor ranging from 109%-111%.
 
In addition to the $208,904 net operating cost in the Parks and Recreation department identified above, the new recreation facility will also increase the 2017 budget for information technology support by $18,200.

 
BACKGROUND:
Prior to and during the 2017 budget process, The Woodlands Township Board of Directors received requests from the public regarding additions and/or enhancements to the Township's existing recreational amenities.  In response, the Board allocated $6.0 million to a Parks and Recreation Capital Projects Fund and an additional $900,000 to the Debt Service Fund (to provide debt service capacity for up to $10 million of new debt) to serve as potential funding sources for the expansion of recreational amenities in the community.
  
One of the recreational amenities discussed by the Board during the 2017 budget process was the YMCA at Creekside Park.  As a result of the YMCA's decision to close the facility, members of the public came forward to express their desire for the Township to acquire the facility and offer recreational programs.  After analysis of the opportunities and negotiations with the YMCA, in October 2016 the Board authorized $4.5 million in property acquisition costs for the YMCA facility and yet to be determined closing costs to be funded from the $6.0 million Parks and Recreation Capital Projects Fund.  Due diligence is currently being performed on the property, and the purchase is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2016 assuming no issues are identified during the due diligence phase.

In anticipation of acquiring the YMCA facility by the end of 2016, Parks and Recreation staff has developed a "Former Creekside Park YMCA Operational and Business Plan" (Attachment A).  The plan took into account the following :
  • Inventory the current YMCA facility and determine if it could meet unmet Township needs
  • Identify Township uses of the facility 
  • Review market place, demographics and competition in the local area that produce recreation programs and services
  • Develop a conceptual cost analysis for the Township to own and operate the facility as an additional Recreation Center
  • Identify changes to the existing structure to make it conducive for multiple recreation programs to be conducted at the same time
  • Identify the correct staff organizational paradigm to operate the facility
  • Develop a plan to operate the facility on a cost neutral basis
From a thorough analysis of the community and the Township's current programs and facilities, staff believes the following opportunities exist at the facility:
  • Harris County Constable Precinct 4 -  Satellite “Kiosk”
  • Covenant Administration, Neighborhood Services, Environmental Services information center
  • Recreation Programming
  • Environmental Education Programming
  • Aquatics and Park Operations   
  • Most notably, it could serve as a trailhead and staging area along the Spring Creek Greenway for a variety of programs, services and races.   As the gateway to the Spring Creek Greenway, there is the potential to work with The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau to leverage the facility for various corporate outings, conference events and day trips, which may serve as an additional revenue stream for the Division.   
The following operational plan is being presented which entails the management of the YMCA facility by the Parks and Recreation Department with uses of the facility by other Township groups.  The operational plan addresses the following:
  • Hours of Operation-
    • It is recommended to operate the facility formerly known as the YMCA at Creekside Park  as a second recreation/community center in The Woodlands mirroring the current hours of The Woodlands Recreation Center to provide programs, fitness, events, etc.
  • Staffing and Administrative Plan-
    • Included within the operational plan is a five (5) year staffing plan for the new facility and the Recreation Division.  This model allows for a ramp up of staff in 2017 for the new facility including a recreation supervisor, a recreation coordinator, a part-time recreation specialist, an administrative assistant, and customer service and seasonal staff.  Additional staff is proposed in the each of the next  four (4) years to allow for growth of programs and additional services.  Also included in the plan is the proposed addition of a second supervisor position in 2018 for oversight of The Woodlands Recreation Center/Bear Branch Park Facility to facilitate collaboration and comprehensive programming for the whole community. This structure mimics the Park Operations and Project Management units and affords opportunities for staff growth and succession planning.
  • Marketing Timeline-
    • Four primary markets for this facility were identified and a marketing plan was developed using specific media for each.  The markets (Residents, Rentals, Nature Enthusiast, Scout Groups) each represent an opportunity to maximize the use of this facility.
  • Program Emphasis Areas- 
    • The program emphasis areas of this facility are split between Recreation and Non-Recreation uses.  For Non-Recreation uses, it is envisioned that the facility and its campus will be used for and by Law Enforcement, as a launch for the Spring Creek Greenway, to provide Resident Care Services, and for Park Operations. For Recreation uses, the opportunities are nearly endless and staff has reviewed opportunities for each major component of the facility/campus (amphitheater, tipis, outdoor classroom, trails, archery, field, and indoor facility).
  • Financial Plan-
    • The financial plan detailed in Attachment A includes both capital and operating expenditures. A summary of the financial information is explained in the Fiscal Impact section above and below in the related budget amendment amounts. 
  • Naming of Facility-
    • When developing a name for the facility, guidelines contained in the “Naming of Township Facilities and Sub Facilities” document should be considered. Additionally, consideration should be given to how the chosen name correlates with the existing Recreation Center; how to not infer the facility is available only to the Village of Creekside Park residents; if honoring past naming commitments by the YMCA is desired; and if the facility name should tie into the surrounding Rob Fleming Lodge, Park and Aquatics Center.  It is recommended that staff prepare several naming options and present them to the Board for consideration in February 2017. 
Proposed 2017 Budget Amendments
  • $500,000 capital improvements (as listed in the Fiscal Impact section) to be funded by the Parks and Recreation Capital Projects Fund
  • $208,904 net operating costs for the Parks and Recreation department and $18,200 operating expenditures for information technology support to be funded by the Operating Contingency line item totaling $250,000
RECOMMENDATION:
Approve the Operational and Business Plan for the facility formerly known as the YMCA at Creekside Park and the related budget amendments to the 2017 Budget as presented.

 
Attachments
Attachment A -Creekside Park YMCA Operational and Business Plan


    

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