YMCA may be best answer for recreation

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Our community has been talking about revamping our recreation facilities for what seems like ages. But little tangible progress seems to happen.

A meeting between Natchez and Adams County officials, recreation committee members and representatives of the Jackson area YMCA on Monday was a positive move, as far as it went.

But that meeting didn’t go past the talking stage.

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Many county and city officials are determined to construct a public swimming pool here. Those efforts in the past have failed because of lack of effective management and because swimming pools come with notorious maintenance challenges.

If our community is to have such a pool, enlisting the help of experts such as the YMCA, a group that is familiar with managing swimming pools and programs that go along with them, is the right thing to do.

Whatever the recreation plan is for Natchez, having professional leadership will go a long way toward making a swimming pool, wellness program or any youth recreation program successful.

The problem is, the only dedicated facility we would have to offer the YMCA here is a swimming pool.

The YMCA has a long, strong history of offering recreation and health programs for children pre-school age and up, all the way through exercise classes for senior citizens.

Perhaps the best use of recreation monies from the city and county would be in creating a full-size, full-service YMCA here.

The YMCA is a non-profit organization and offers scholarships for those who cannot afford to pay to participate in its programs. Those who can pay are asked to do so in a nominal way.

Such a facility could easily meet all of the goals of those who seek to increase recreation opportunities for Natchez and Adams County youth.