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Contract examined after lost revenue

Rotterdam Boys
& Girls Club find pool closure ended tie with town

— The closure of the Rotterdam Boys & Girls Club’s pool has made unexpected waves for the organization.

The Rotterdam Boys & Girls Club receives $18,500 annually from the Town of Rotterdam to help cover services provided to the community at a reduced cost, but its contract was limited to pool related services and recreational activities provided to seniors. Under its contract, once the pool closed in April, so did its revenue stream from the town.

Now, the club and the town are trying to keep that money from going down the drain. Shane Bargy, executive director at Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady, explained the services it offers to the community at the Rotterdam Town Board’s Wednesday, Dec. 12, meeting in an effort to broaden the scope of its contract.

“The Rotterdam Boys and Girls Club is the community center in the Town of Rotterdam,” Bargy said. “That facility provides an enormous amount of benefit to the entire Rotterdam community.”

Supervisor Harry Buffardi said he recommended Bargy give a presentation to board members after Bargy approached him about the issue. The board is likely to vote on a revised contact at its organizational meeting New Year’s Day.

“I had a pretty good feeling that the members of the board would be receptive to this,” Buffardi said after the meeting.

Councilman Robert Godlewski said he wasn’t aware the scope of the contract was limited to senior swimming activities, even though the center provides plenty of other services and programs. Godlewski, along with Buffardi, said they are alumni of the club.

“You don’t have to convince me of the good that your facility does,” Godlewski said. “I find it hard to believe we are withholding money because it was specifically allocated for seniors.”

Buffardi said the town wasn’t able to continue making payments to the club once the pool closed due to the scope of its contract. Continuing to make payments to the club would have been an improper expenditure of town funds, Buffardi said.

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