Section 103-625; Res. 217-02; Adopting the Youth Enrichment Services Guideline

Council Bill No.          R 217-02          

            adopting the Youth Enrichment Services guidelines.


    SECTION 1.  The City Council hereby adopts the Youth Enrichment Services guidelines attached to this resolution as Exhibit A.

    ADOPTED this 18th day of November, 2002.

Youth Enrichment Services

Goal:    It is the goal of the City of Columbia to provide access to its recreational facilities and programs for those economically disadvantaged individuals with the initial primary focus on youth.

General Policies

1.    City of Columbia residents only - Financial assistance under this program is available to City of Columbia residents only.

2.    Non-Transferable - Any passes received with the aid of financial assistance are valid only for the individual to whom they are issued and cannot be transferred to anyone else.

3.    Financial Assistance Passes - Passes (to the ARC and outdoor aquatic facilities) will be issued in blocks of 20 for the appropriate age group. Subsequent blocks of 20 will be issued once the original 20 are utilized up to a maximum of three passes (60 total admissions). All passes will expire within one year from the date of issuance and may be renewed depending upon continuing need and availability of financial assistance funds.

4.    Financial Assistance - ARC Annual Pass - An eligible family may opt to purchase an annual family pass in lieu of the 20 pass allotment(s). The applicable co-payments of 25% or 50% would apply. The balance of fees may be paid on a monthly basis.

5.    Proof of Eligibility - Participants must prove they are eligible for the financial assistance. This proof must be established on an annual basis on the anniversary of the initial financial assistance.

6.    Financial Assistance Income Eligibility Guidelines - The income eligibility guidelines for Youth Enrichment Services shall be the same as the income eligibility guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, School Lunch Program, now in effect (attached) and as may be amended from time to time by the Department of Agriculture.

7.    Co-Payment - The amount of co-payment by the financial assistance recipient is based upon income and household size as established in the School Lunch Program guidelines. Approximate (rounded) amounts are as follows:

School Lunch Guideline           Co-Payment             Financial Assistance Amount

Free Meals (at or below
130% of poverty level)             25%                 75%

Reduced Price Meals
(130 - 185% of poverty level)         50%                 50%

8.    Benefits under the Youth Enrichment Services program shall be limited to funds appropriated by the City Council for the program.

9.    Effective Prices - Based upon the co-payment eligibility guidelines, the following co-payment amounts apply towards ARC passes:

Type of ARC Pass                                     Co-Payment Amount

20 Pass Youth - Full Price: $45

    Free Meal Guideline                 $10 (equals 50 cents/visit)
    Reduced Price Meal Guideline             $20 (equals $1.00/visit)

Annual Family Pass - Full Price: $495

    Free Meal Guideline                 $120 ($10/month)
    Reduced Price Meal Guideline             $240 ($20/month)

10.    Financial Assistance Distribution  - In an effort to provide broader access to financial assistance, there will be three sign-up periods for financial assistance with 1/3 of the annual funding available in each period. Sign up periods will be October - January, February - May and June - September. Funds available during those periods will be utilized on a first-come, first-served basis. Any unused funds will be carried over into the next period of the same fiscal year. EXAMPLE: A total of $15,000 is available for financial assistance. Rather than use all of the funding early in the year and forcing individuals to wait until the next year anniversary, funds would be distributed evenly throughout the year. All three of the 4 month periods of time would have $5,000 available for financial assistance.

11.    SPECIAL PROVISION: First Year of Operation - It is anticipated the demand for financial assistance will be high immediately upon the opening of the ARC. For this reason, there shall be a one time exception to the Financial Assistance Distribution guideline in paragraph 9. This exception would allow up to two thirds of the available financial assistance funds to be used during the first funding period following the opening of the ARC with the remaining one third of the funds split between the two other funding cycles. Beginning October 1, 2003, the available funds should be distributed in accordance with the Financial Assistance Distribution guideline set forth in paragraph 9.

12.    Application Procedure - In order to qualify for the financial assistance, an applicant needs to:

a.) Be a resident of the City of Columbia. Proof of residency is required.

b.) Complete a Financial Assistance Application

c.) Provide a copy of income criteria & household size. These include the guidelines as established by the USDA's Free/Reduced Lunch Program, Food Stamps or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. Other documentation may include a copy of the most recent federal income tax return.

d.) Submit an application to the Parks & Recreation Department. No application will be processed without the necessary income verification information.

e.) Provide additional income verification as needed.

13.    Reasonable Participation Level - In order to distribute the financial assistance to the most individuals possible, each eligible youth financial assistance recipient shall be given the choice of attending one activity per program guide. For the purposes of the policy, one activity is either one recreational program or one multiple pass to the ARC or to the outdoor swimming pools. Financial assistance recipients may choose any combination up to three activities in one year.

Another option available is an annual family pass to the ARC based upon the co-payment guidelines. A family will have the choice of either three activities per child or purchasing an annual pass but not both.

In light of limited financial assistance money available at the beginning of FY 2003, the guidelines for admission to the ARC are as follows:

•    YOUTH - Each individual youth (ages 3 - 17) who falls under the established income guidelines may receive up to three 20 pass admission cards valid for up to one year from the initial pass. The second and third group of 20 passes will not be issued until the previous 20 have been utilized. These passes are subject to the co-payment/scholarship guidelines.

•    ADULTS - One parent/legal guardian of financial assistance youth ages 3 -10, who need parental supervision while in the ARC per the center's rules, may receive up to three 20 pass admission cards valid up to one year from the initial pass. These passes may only be used in conjunction with a visit by one of the youth ages 3 - 10. The pass may be used by any individual 16 years of age or older designated by the parent/legal guardian who will provide the necessary supervision of the youth. The second and third group of 20 passes will not be issued until the previous 20 have been utilized. These passes are subject to the co-payment/financial assistance guidelines applicable to the youth.

•    FAMILY PASS - A family may receive one annual family pass subject to the family definition and the applicable co-payment/scholarship guidelines each year.