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North Hempstead lowers fees at its community center to attract new members


The "Yes We Can" Community Center, photographed March 25, 2014, is located in Westbury at 141 Garden Street. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

The Town of North Hempstead will lower some fees at its $27.1 million Yes We Can Community Center in New Cassel, which missed revenue projections and saw membership sales plummet last year.

Officials said the changes, approved 7-0 by the town board Tuesday, were made to keep the center competitive with local gym franchises.

Fees for adult town residents for the whole facility, including basketball courts and a fitness center, will drop to $16 a month from $21 a month -- or annually, to $192 from $252.

The board approved a new family discount, enabling a second adult in the family to pay $14 for the month to use the entire facility, $2 less each month, if another adult has a membership. Each additional child, after the first, will pay $2 per month, a 50-cent reduction, to use just the facility's first floor, with the basketball courts. The fitness center is for members age 16 and older.

Adults who live outside the town will pay $22 each month. That fee had been $25 per month.

"We're really trying to get more people into the fitness center -- which is really meaning the adults -- and trying to target them, and make it more competitive," said Jennifer Fava, town parks and recreation commissioner. "Then we'll get more people into the facilities."

Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said, "Feedback we've received is that our fees for the gym facility are actually not competitive with surrounding gyms."

"We'll try this, and if this doesn't work, we'll try something else," Bosworth said, noting the goal is "to make the facility one that has more use by the community as well as others in the town."

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