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City proposes deal to save Melrose YMCA

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

There's a new proposal to provide additional funding to a local YMCA in danger of closing.

The operating hours of the Melrose YMCA branch in Walnut Hills were cut in half. Members in the community argue the shorter hours make visiting their local branch difficult, and worry it will eventually close, altogether.

Officials with Cincinnati YMCA say the schedule changes at the Melrose location were needed to help close a $300,000 budget deficit.

On Thursday, city leaders revealed a plan to keep the YMCA open for two more years, in addition to restoring more hours for members.

In the deal, the YMCA would get up to $200,000 from the City of Cincinnati. With those added funds, the Melrose branch would add 20 hours back per week through April 2015.

After April 2015, the YMCA would either close the Melrose branch entirely, or will give the building to the city.

In exchange, YMCA officials would get council and mayoral approval on its Central Y Project, as well as full tax credit funding for its Senior Housing Project.

The YMCA also wants approval for both from the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority.

The deal has not been finalized. Cincinnati City Councilman Wendell Young said he's given the proposal to former councilman Sam Malone, who has served as the spokesman for the Melrose community on this issue.

An all member meeting of the Melrose YMCA is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on February 28. The meeting will be held at the Bush Recreation Center on 2640 Kember Road.

The meeting is set to discuss a plan to restore some of the operating hours and keeping the facility open for another two years.

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