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Operator sought for Embrey Mill recreation center

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Stafford County officials will begin looking for a company to operate the indoor recreation center at Embrey Mill Park that could open in the spring of 2015.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors gave the OK for county staff to issue a request-for-proposals for operators. Bids could go out next month.

The operator would lease the 73,000-square-foot facility for a nominal fee, and could return surplus revenues to the county. The company would not have to pay debt service for the building, which the county will continue to own. And county residents will get special rates for membership fees.

The county would require that the selected firm must: maintain the building and amenities; manage recreational and competitive programs; have experience managing similar facilities; provide details about finances, management, operations and staffing.

Swimming programs through the county and public schools will get pool time set aside. The pools will be reserved for swim meets up to eight weekends a year, according to the county documents.

The Rappahannock YMCA has expressed interest in operating the gym and pools, and has been in on some of the planning.

Bids will be accepted for 60 days, and negotiations could take another two or three months.

The board also voted to name the park—which had been referred to by the Embrey Mill name for a while—officially the Embrey Mill Park.

Katie Thisdell: 540/735-1975


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