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Live Healthy Red Wing partnering with Community Rec

By John R. Russett and Danielle Killey

A memorandum of agreement between the city of Red Wing, Red Wing Public Schools, Community Recreation Joint Powers Board and the Live Healthy Red Wing Coalition was approved to shift the fiscal agent of Live Healthy Red Wing to fit underneath the umbrella of Community Recreation has been approved.

Live Healthy Red Wing and the Red Wing YMCA had worked together, but have been talking about other options for the organization, including whether LHRW should become its own nonprofit or find another partner.

“This has been a very successful program, it’s had a good relationship with the YMCA who has been the fiscal agent and the city who has played a role as far as the employer,” Council Administrator Kay Kuhlmann said Monday night. But “It’s time to change that.”

Community Recreation coordinator Dave Borgen, who also sits on the board of LHRW, said all parties involved thought a partnership between LHRW and Community Recreation — a part of RWPS under Community Education — was a good fit.

“Instead of being a standalone entity it really made sense because of the focus and their purpose to have it combined with the joint rec board,” Kuhlmann said.

Live Healthy Red Wing aims to ensure Red Wing residents can live a healthy, active and balanced lifestyle. The group works to improve policies, make physical changes and build a culture of active and connected citizens and Borgen said Community Recreation will continue to act in much the same way the YMCA did to help make that a reality.

“We want to ensure that Live Healthy Red Wing can maintain its autonomy,” Borgen said, adding all money used for LHRW ventures will continue to come through the form of grants or donations.

Borgen said Community Recreation’s responsibilities lie solely on the fiscal side of LHRW, making it clear that no school district money will go toward LHRW ventures.

The Red Wing School Board approved the agreement at its July 21 meeting and the City Council did the same Monday night.

The council also approved a 90-day extension for Live Healthy Red Wing coordinator Michelle Leise’s contract while employment issues are sorted out.

“The 90 days just really buys us some time,” Kuhlmann said.

Leise’s contract with the city expires July 31, staff said, so the extension allows time to explore whether she should continue to work on a contract or become an employee of Community Recreation.