Hudson City Council will discuss potential recreation center concept Tuesday

Proposal would entail working with Life Center Plus

Phil Keren
Kent Weeklies
LifeCenter Plus is located at 5133 Darrow Road in Hudson. City Council on Tuesday, Jan. 26, will discuss the possibility of working with Life Center Plus to develop a community recreation center.

HUDSON — City legislators on Tuesday night will discuss the possibility of working with an existing facility to develop a community recreation center.

City Council member Nicole Kowalski (at-large) noted she's heard from a lot of residents who are interested in having a recreation center in Hudson.

Kowalski told her colleagues she recently spoke with Jerry Lynch, owner of Life Center Plus, and toured the facility. When they met, she said Lynch expressed an interest in working with the city.

"It would be much more financially responsible than building new, which … can be very expensive and can sometimes be hard for municipalities to maintain," said Kowalski.

Kowalski offered three options for working with Life Center Plus, 5133 Darrow Road, on a recreation center concept:

1. The city enters an agreement with LifeCenter Plus which would effectively make it the city's recreation center. A property tax levy would pay for a subsidized/reduced membership and some capital improvements. Lynch would continue to own and operate the facility.

2. The city buys the facility and Lynch would continue operating it. According to Kowalski, based on recent property valuation data, the estimated cost of the facility is $5 million.

"This again would probably be funded via a levy," said Kowalski.

3. The city purchases the facility, operates the business, and lowers the cost of membership.

Kowalski added a property tax levy would also likely be needed for this option.

She noted she wants council to explore the options, select one and put the issue on the November ballot.

LifeCenter Plus is located at 5133 Darrow Road in Hudson. City Council member Nicole Kowalski (at-large) has proposed that the city explore working with Life Center Plus to develop a community recreation center.

Lynch told the Hub-Times he favored the city pursuing any of the three options raised by Kowalski and noted he did not, at this point, have a preference among the trio of choices.

 "We've been kind of a pilar, a mainstay in the community," said Lynch, who has owned Life Center Plus with his wife, Sue, since 2011. "…We support all of the school functions. We're very active in the community."

Adding that there is a public desire for a recreation center, Lynch said he felt it "makes perfect sense" for Life Center Plus to try to work out an agreement with the city. He emphasized his facility will continue operating "whether we do something with the city or not. I just think this is a good thing for both of us."

Council President Bill Wooldredge (at-large) said he felt it was "well worth" exploring the concept and added he's heard "a great deal of interest" from residents in having a recreation center.

City Council will meet starting at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26. The virtual meeting can be viewed at https://www.hudson.oh.us/116/Streaming-Video-Meetings.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@thebeaconjournal.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.