A memorandum of understanding that outlines a possible merger between the Lake Zurich Park and Recreation Department and the Foglia YMCA is not a done deal, said Mayor Suzanne Branding.
Instead, the document provides a framework, she said.
"It's not anything that's due to be signed," Branding said. "It's in the very preliminary stages."
The memorandum of understanding outlines responsibilities and benefits for the village and the Foglia YMCA should the two join forces to offer park and recreation opportunities. Under the agreement, the Foglia YMCA would take over the day-to-day management of all of the village-owned recreation facilities and programs. The Foglia Y would also generate new programs, evaluate existing recreation programs for cost-effectiveness and eliminate those that don't meet that criteria, and maintain the right to sell Foglia Y memberships to generate revenue and keep recreation program costs down.
With the latter proposal, a financial assistance program would be available. In addition, the village's existing park and recreation staff would be retained for up to a year, but then employees' job performance would be evaluated for further employment with the Foglia Y.
For its part, the village of Lake Zurich would allow the Foglia Y to use all of the village-owned park and recreation facilities. The village would also assist in recruiting employees and volunteers, and provide general liability coverage and maintenance of facility expenses.
Branding pointed out that the memorandum provides for a 12-month written notice to terminate the agreement.
She said while discussions about this potential partnership started several months ago, "in all honesty, it hasn't been a regular discussion."
Branding said the two agencies have a "duplication of services, and we're looking at combining those."
She said moving forward with such a partnership would definitely bring a cost savings to Lake Zurich, but she doesn't yet know what that cost savings would be.
"I think we would be remiss in not looking at it," said Branding. She said there are a lot of projects on the table, including those discussed at a recent capital improvement plan workshop, and it's difficult to fund them all.
"The bottom line is there are more things to spend money on than there's money to be spent, and there's going to have to be some tough decisions made," said Branding. "I think we'd be remiss if we didn't turn every rock over."
The Lake Zurich Village Board will hold its required annual meeting with the Park and Recreation Advisory Board Dec. 13. While that meeting will largely be spent discussing the Open Space Master Plan, Branding anticipates that the memorandum of understanding will also be discussed.
"This is a very preliminary document," Branding said. "There's no intention of signing this document as it is."