June 7, 2012
Officials from the Piedmont Family YMCA on their way back from Richmond Thursday night after a day in the State Supreme Court.
A group of local gyms including ACAC and Gold’s Gym is suing Charlottesville and Albemarle County for giving gifts to the Y for a new facility in McIntire Park.
The gyms say they were left out of the bidding process for that area of land and that those gifts are illegal.
Even though the justices heard oral arguments this afternoon, they’re not expected to render a decision until September.
Years of planning and years of lawsuits over the Piedmont Family YMCA culminate Thursday in Virginia Supreme Court. Charlottesville lawyer Kurt Krueger is the Chairman of the Piedmont Family YMCA.
“I think that fitness club owners view the Y as a threat to its membership base,” said Krueger.
The Charlottesville area Fitness Club Operators Association is suing Charlottesville and Albemarle County. It’s a group including the local ACAC and Gold’s Gyms. The charge is the two governments gave gifts to the YMCA to build a $14 million facility in McIntire Park.
The group says they were left out of the bidding process to build in that location.
“We’re not trying to compete with them because they’re in a different business than we are,”
Krueger says the city and the county gifts to his nonprofit are legal since they’re charitable donations to help better citizens.
“It’s really using fitness as a means to an end to build a better human being and a better citizen. Is that competition to the fitness club model? I don’t think so,” said Krueger.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments from both sides. Justices will take their time considering the arguments and are expected to render a decision in September. Krueger has been working to bring a Y to Charlottesville since 2003. He has confidence his arguments will prevail.
“I don’t think they really want to be in McIntire Park. I don’t think they really want to build a facility that’s open to all and to scholarship anyone irrespective of their ability to pay. I think what they want to do is stop the Y from building a facility,” said Krueger.
Area gyms involved in the lawsuit gave no comment to CBS19.