Stillwater News Press

February 4, 2013

Stillwater city councilors put employee fitness center on hold.

By Chris Day
Stillwater NewsPress

— Stillwater city councilors put a city-operated fitness center for employees and spouses on hold at Monday’s meeting.

Councilor Cody Scott made a motion to approve $59,688 to purchase fitness equipment and $24,000 to renovate a city building for the center, but none of the other councilors seconded the motion.

Councilor Philip Pina said he wanted additional time to study the proposal. Councilor Joe Weaver said he supported the city’s wellness initatives, but wanted to make sure a local business couldn’t partner with the city to provide fitness programs.

“It’s not should we do this. It’s how we do it,” Weaver said after Monday’s meeting. “I just want to make sure we are engaging the private sector as much as we can.”

The city shouldn’t spend money for an employee fitness center if private enterprise can provide the services, Weaver said.

“Could the Y be our partner? Could Gym One? BodyWorks? They are all over town. I know city staff said they did investigate that, but did they do a RFP (request for proposals). I just want them to look at it and come back to us with a little more information.”

The fitness center proposal should have been presented in a City Council study session, Vice Mayor Chuck Hopkins said.

Senior Human Resources Generalist Christy Luper presented a wellness program to councilors.

Several initiatives, including health screenings, health-risk assessments and a year-round education plan, will be available to employees soon, Luper said.

The fitness center needed City Council approval to purchase fitness equipment and renovate a city building.

City staff will address councilors’ questions and make another presentation to the Council.