Bertram Chain of Lakes YMCA lease, operating agreement move ahead

The Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park Advisory Council and YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities representatives recently came to agreement on a ground lease and operating agreement for a 12-plus acre piece of property on the north side of the park where new facilities will be developed for day camp activities.
City and county staff joined council members during a two-hour long meeting Nov. 1 with Brian Kirk, the YMCA’s executive director of building services, and Thomas LaSalle, president and CEO of the LaSalle Group Limited, a Minneapolis-based consultant that’s representing the YMCA with its planning.
During the initial and most potentially sticky part of their morning discussion, all parties eventually agreed that within the lease agreement, the YMCA Day Camp Manitou’s summer month operational period would be established according to a school calendar set by the state legislature or the Minnesota Department of Education.
Wright County Commissioner Pat Sawatzke said he was primarily concerned about the YMCA asking for above and beyond what was originally included in the 99-year lease documents. During dicussion, Sawatkze made it clear he was opposed to a written 99-year guarantee on a use window of seven months. “A three-month summer camp for children is what we provided you,” he said.
Kirk and LaSalle suggested that the operating agreement, not the lease, be amended to take care of operations outside of the summer months.
“We gave you all the language you wanted, and just asked if we would be able to change the rest of the year through the operating agreement,” LaSalle said after an extended period of back-and-forth discussion.
Mayor Clint Herbst said adding that change would enable the advisory council to recommend that Wright County and the city of Monticello approve the lease under discussion.
Attorneys from all three parties would review the documents presented  to better define and determine wording of the operations time element within the agreement. The lease term will remain at 99 years.

See this week’s print edition of the Monticello Times for the complete story.