Trouble follows Kisela ….
In early October, Emerald Coast YMCA’s announced they would be closing its three branches in Okaloosa County.
Destin’s city manager was prepared to introduce a plan to lease the Destin Aquatic facility, allowing swim teams and residents to continue to use it.
The Emerald Coast YMCA announced in early October that all three branches in Okaloosa County would be closing. Amongst them is Destin’s aquatic facility, where a number of swim teams and clubs practice and compete. The city of Destin began looking for a way to keep that facility running.
Destin City Manager Greg Kisela says “we were going to discuss a very short-term lease with the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation, which is the landlord, for the city to operate the facility for two months until they could sort through these issues.”
On Monday, that plan hit a major roadblock.
According to Kisela, “the Emerald Coast YMCA has filed bankruptcy and bankruptcy protection, which means that basically the facility on Commons Drive is under the control of the trustee for the bankruptcy.”
The bankruptcy means the city’s plan to lease the facility is temporarily dead in the water. With the weather cooling off, that’s bad news for swim teams.
The head coach of Pryor Middle and Choctawhatchee High School’s swim team Jamie Thompson says “it’s difficult. I have kids that have school, jobs after school, clubs after school, band after school. So for them to be able to make this is tough.”
Jamie Thompson says her teams have been practicing in the dark, in pools that are barely lit and hardly big enough. If the city could take over the pool, even months down the road, it would be a good thing for the kids.
“That’s what I was thinking the whole time; hold that hope and that’s going to happen. So it’s pretty disappointing to know that it’s not in attorney’s hands,” says Kisela.
Kisela says the bankruptcy locks up the facility for at least a few months, but that he’s optimistic about the future.
“We continue to see value in the facility as a community asset. So hopefully we can continue to work with the arts foundation, and the trustees of the bankruptcy court to be able to have that serve the community.”
City officials say the bankruptcy meetings start in December, and an update should be available then.
via Destin’s YMCA bankrupt – WEAR – Pensacola Local News – ABC.