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LAKE WALES – A couple of weeks ago, the Lake Wales City Commission voted to purchase the YMCA of West Central Florida facility on Burns Avenue near Lake Wales High School — known as the Lake Wales Family YMCA.

At the time, commissioners asked for more time to review the lease agreement, which was finalized Feb. 4.

The City of Lake Wales borrowed around $900,000 from CenterState Bank to purchase the facility and staff said there is around $300,000 leftover for renovations to the facility, which could be completed later this year. The first loan payment is due April 1.

Commissioners consented to Lake Wales City Manager Ken Fields exploring naming rights options to help offset some of the costs.

Last year, commissioners discussed ways of providing more recreation opportunities to residents and it was determined that teaming up with the YMCA could be more cost-effective than building a standalone city facility.

According to the initial three year lease agreement, YMCA staff pays $1 for annual rent, pays all operating costs related to the facility and covers normal maintenance and repair upkeep costs. City funds would be used to give residents free access to the pool during certain hours and a 50 percent membership subsidy. City staff said the agreement also provides for some use of the adjacent athletic fields.

Resident youth swimming classes may be offered soon, as money was also budgeted for this purpose.