Rec center memberships proposed


Parks and Natural Resources Director Ted Miller was before Delaware City Council on Monday to present a proposal for implementing a membership program for members of the community who wish to visit the Mingo Community Recreation Center, 500 E. Lincoln Ave.

The program, which was first proposed during a Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting on Jan. 17, would require members of the public to sign up for a profile that would include their name, address and contact information. For members under the age of 18, it would include the information of their parent or guardian. All members would be required to check in during each visit to the recreation center by scanning their “fun pass” membership card or a QR code on their phones to keep a record of their visits.

Per the proposed policy, a valid photo ID would be required for all membership passes and renewals. Household members under the age of 18 would require a parent or guardian to complete the online membership application. Once complete, the pass can be received at the department’s office.

All guests would also be required to register in the system and would need to present a current state or school picture ID.

Written in the policy is a progressive discipline structure that includes a one-week suspension for the first violation of the center’s rules and regulations, a 30-day suspension for the second incident, and a one-year suspension for a third violation. Further incidents would result in a permanent suspension. Examples of violations include fighting, stealing, property damage, verbal abuse of staff or patrons, and disorderly conduct.

The city would also reserve the right to take disciplinary action proportionate to the behavior and to modify the suspension period at its own discretion.

“The overall reasoning behind the membership proposal is safety; safety for kids and safety for older adults, too,” Miller said during the presentation. “As we’ve gotten busier, there’s been a few incidents in the gym. What we want to do is try to identify some of the troublemakers and try to keep them out of there as much as possible with some sort of penalties, make it a safe atmosphere. That is our overall goal. And then with the pickleball players in the morning, we want to know who’s in there in case there is some kind of safety concern or medical incident that comes up so we have a point of contact and we can react faster, hopefully.”

Miller noted the board has modeled the program after similar programs found in other communities, saying, “It’s not something we’ve just written on our own. We’ve taken good things from a lot of different places.” He added that being able to track membership data will be beneficial to the department moving forward.

A membership fee of $1 was originally considered as part of the proposal, but the department has since removed any associated fees. However, there would be a $5 charge for the replacement of a lost or stolen card, although members could still continue to sign in using the QR code on their phones.

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

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