What some may have expected to be a fairly straightforward discussion regarding the future use of the city-owned youth center in South End Park got slightly more complicated at Wednesday’s workshop with the mayor and Board of Aldermen.

The discussion centered around renewing a memorandum of understanding signed in 2016 that leased the youth center to the Boys and Girls Club of Frederick County through the 2019 fiscal year. The new agreement would put in place a four-year term and set new monthly rental rates for the building, parts of which would still be open for use by other parties when not in use by the club.

Aside from a provision that would levy a fine against the city for terminating the lease early, the new agreement seemed to have immediate support from a majority of the board members, until Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak expressed her concern that the renewal could be seen as unfair to other nonprofit youth groups that may be able to provide similar or better services out of the youth center, noting that the Boys and Girls Club now has alternate sites for its programs.

“Frederick County has over 800 nonprofits, many of those deal with children. We made a decision years ago, and I think one of the reasons we made that decision was because [the] Boys and Girls Club didn’t have any place else, it was a place for them to be,” Kuzemchak said. “I think there are other groups [now] that may not have any place else.”

While several of her fellow aldermen, notably Ben MacShane, said they agreed with Kuzemchak’s concerns in principal, a clear majority of the board appeared to come down in favor of moving ahead with bringing the renewed agreement for a vote during a future hearing.

Ultimately the board erred on the side of caution, recognizing that opening the space up for bids or proposals from other potential partnering agencies would jeopardize the programming already planned and largely in place by the Boys and Girls Club.

Find fun in Frederick this summer

Even though the first day of summer is still nearly a month away, summer activities are already fully underway across the city of Frederick.

Beginning last month, the Key City Food & Farm Market, an outdoor farmer’s market, will set up every Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Oct. 25 outside the William Talley Recreation Center in Baker Park. The market will open rain or shine and will feature a variety of different food trucks and local vendors offering sales on produce, meats, flowers and even baked goods.

Also, as of last week, the city’s public pools — the Edward P. Thomas Jr. Memorial Pool at 500 Fleming Avenue in Baker Park, as well as the William R. Diggs Memorial Pool at 125 West All Saints Street in Mullinix Park — are now open daily through Labor Day, Sept. 2.

Both pools are open from 4 until 8 p.m. on school days during May and June, then daily between about midday and 8 p.m. on non-school days and for the rest of the summer. Daily passes for city residents cost $3 for children ages 12 and under, ADA users, seniors and members of the military, and $5 for adults at each pool, with slightly higher costs for non-city residents.

For a complete hours of operation and fee schedule, please visit the Parks and Recreation Department section on the city’s website, www.cityoffrederick.com.

June also ushers in the first of Celebrate Frederick’s summer concert series, a weekly event that sees a new musical performer take the stage at the Baker Park Band Shell. The first performance will feature the music of Guys in Thin Ties, an alternative ’80s rock cover band.

Weekly performances will take place in the Band Shell every Sunday starting at 7 p.m. through Aug. 25. For a complete schedule of performers and musical acts, please visit Celebrate Frederick’s website, www.celebratefrederick.com.

Follow Jeremy Arias on Twitter: @Jarias_Prime.

Jeremy Arias is the Frederick city and government reporter for The Frederick News-Post.

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