May 12, 2010
The Charlottesville-Area Fitness Club Operators Assocation (CAFCOA) says they've filed lawsuits against the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County over a proposed YMCA in McIntire Park. ACAC is involved in the lawsuit and says the legal move is their last attempt to stop the YMCA's construction.
The clubs - including ACAC Fitness and Wellness Centers, Gold's Gym and Total Performance Sports and Fitness - say the city and county excluded them when it came time to bid for the land within McIntire Park that the YMCA is set to build on.
The clubs say the city and county are giving the YMCA bargain lease rates and over $3 million in taxpayer money. They say this gives the "Y" an unfair advantage.
"It is with great reluctance that we pursue legal action," the Charlottesville Area Fitness Club Operators Association (CAFCOA) said in a media statement about the lawsuit. "We do not feel that constructing a large-scale fitness facility is the best use of taxpayer dollars. Given the current economic situation, we believe that appropriate $3 million..is a misuse of public funds - especially when other providers are in a position to offer solutions that cost less and can prevent destruction of a public park."
However, YMCA Chairman Kurt Krueger defends the money and the 70,000 sq foot facility. "We've promised in the use-agreement that if any citizen cannot afford the membership fees, we'll scholarship them."
City spokesman Ric Barrick responded, "We can not comment on pending or existing lawsuits involving the City of Charlottesville other than the City Attorney is aware of this matter and is now reviewing the papers filed in court."