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Concerns rise over new YMCA hours

Melrose YMCA.JPG
Jay Hanselman
Melrose YMCA

Some members of the Melrose YMCA in Walnut Hills are asking Cincinnati officials to help restore hours at the facility.

About two dozen speakers, including Victoria Evans, voiced their concerns Wednesday to the weekly City Council meeting.

“We ask the Mayor and City Council to pass a resolution to ask the Greater Cincinnati Metropolitan YMCA to restore the operating hours at the Melrose Y effective immediately,” Evans said. “We ask the Mayor and City Council to stop providing any money to the Greater Cincinnati Metropolitan YMCA for facility development or renovation or any other reason.”

Another Y user, Susan Cleverly, says, “I know you can’t tell the YMCA how to do their business but we’re hoping you can use your influence to help them see the error of their ways by inhibiting any and all funding to go toward the YMCA efforts until the restore Melrose to full capacity.”

Those testifying say the Melrose Y is now only open Monday thru Friday from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. It’s now closed on Saturday.

The speakers accuse YMCA leadership of diverting resources from city facilities to those located in the suburbs. Another location in Walnut Hills was closed in 2011.

The YMCA announced the reduced hours in a December news release.

"In making the decision to adjust the membership hours, the Y has carefully studied use of the facility over the past 16 months, finding that 73-percent of members attended programs and worked out during the revised hours of operation," the news release said.  "While membership has increased at Melrose, it is not at the level needed to operate with extended hours.  The new schedule will enable the majority of YMCA members and program participants to continue their activities."