Partnerships between government and private entities can benefit both parties as well as the public, but when the public interest starts lagging behind, it's time for a change.
That's what happened with the YMCA Park adjacent to the Ashland Y. The City Council was right to follow the Parks and Recreation Commission's recommendation and vote to deed the property over to the Y in exchange for enough money to compensate the city for improvements it made over the years.
The 6.56-acre property belonged to the YMCA 31 years ago, when the organization agreed to deed it to the city for free in exchange for improvements and maintenance at the city's cost, under the condition that the general public would be allowed to use it.
Today, the Y has expanded its use of the park to the point that it is reserved for members from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. six days a week. City officials correctly determined that was not in the public interest, and it was no longer worth the $35,000-$50,000 the city was spending on maintenance annually.
Under the terms of a transfer agreement approved by the City Council Tuesday night, the Y will pay $488,000 to compensate the city for the current value of improvements, including soccer fields, restrooms, a play structure and a parking lot.
The city will put the money toward building a new 3-acre park nearby for use by the general public.
That's a win-win decision that makes sure public resources benefit the public.