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Darlington yoga in a precarious position

POSTED March 8, 2018 9:43 a.m.

DARLINGTON – At a meeting held on Wed., March 28 Amy Prine, Dora Ritter Wellness director, gave the City of Darlington’s Park and Rec Committee an update of plans to switch from the Les Mills classes to offering certified yoga classes.
    A condition that Prine put on herself was not to move ahead with the yoga program until the Les Mills program was officially canceled and no more bills would be received. Prine stated that she sent three emails and one phone call (for confirmation that the program was cancelled) and she has not had any response from the company. She then received an automatic email from Les Mills stating the payment did not go through. The reason it didn’t go through is because Prine had cancelled the credit card, specifically so that Les Mills could not draw on the account.
    In researching this story, it was noted that the Dora Ritter Wellness Center website has Les Mills information posted, including Les Mills classes listed.
    Prine then moved on to yoga and wanted to send in registration as soon as she confirms Les Mills is officially cancelled. The early bird deadline of May 18 will save $500. The class is 200 hours and costs $3,000, plus $100 registration fee and $75 book fee, for a total of $3,175. This is a one-time cost. Prine would be staying at a hotel during the three weeks of classes and has provided no cost estimates to the committee.
    Prine said, “I called Dragonfly Hot Yoga about the program and they said it’s really intense training for three weeks. So I have to be really dedicated and I am. For me to give up three weeks of my summer – that’s a lot. I thought about it and I think it would be good for the community.” Don Osterday, Park & Rec chair, said, “That’s certainly a commitment on your part, but it’s a commitment on our part as well. The hotel costs for a 20 plus day stay could be thousands. When the council asks me what this will cost, I need to know what to tell them.”
    Osterday then switched to numbers in classes. He said, “The key question is how many people can you get interested in taking the yoga classes?”
    Prine answered, “Last night I had twelve.”
    Osterday, “When you say twelve, is that a guess? What if you get six is that going to be enough to justify sending you to Madison for 20 days? Doing the math if you do have 12 in a class, times $10 a class is $120 a week.”
    Mary Jane Sturtz, committee member, picked up the thread and said “$120 a week would be $6,240 a year. That would offset the investment.”
    Aaron Wolfe, committee member, said, “I think we need to look at all the classes when we’re looking at revenue. Last year we lost a lot, because of the Les Mills payments. I compared the revenue from classes to just what we paid Les Mills ($4,200) and we lost money. A one-time pay is good. Paying for a 20 night hotel stay, makes me a little nervous.”
    Wolfe asked Prine, “When you’re gone for three weeks, who’s going to do your job here?”
    Prine seemed to be taken off guard and after a pause said, “Yeah - Wade, Al and Brien.”
    Sturtz then asked, “As far as your classes?”
    Prine answered, “The spinning classes would continue.”
    Sturtz asked, “How about your other classes, Boot Camp, yoga, etc., would those be canceled for a couple weeks?” Prine nodded yes.
    Wolfe asked, “Do you have an idea of what your average attendance is at the spinning classes are right now?
    Prine talked about the previous weeks attendance, but had no average numbers for the year.
    Discussion turned back to how much the hotel stay will cost. Sturtz said, “I think our sticking point is not knowing how much the hotel cost will be. Then we’d have a better overall number and could make an informed discission.”
    It was decided to have Prine find hotel costs and bring it back to the next Park & Rec meeting in a month.
Bird Statues
    Sue Cashman was not able to attend this meeting but gave a letter to Wade Berget, Park & Rec Director, to update the committee. Cashman stated she had met with Dave Gough and members of the Legion to get input on the Darlington Chamber and Bluebird Society to placing an eagle near the Legion’s monument in Veterans Park. According to Cashman the Legion was very much in favor of the addition, and wants the eagle parallel to Main Street, so it would be more visible.
    Some members of the committee questioned if the plastic eagle would fit in next to the “classy” monument. Alder John Sonsolla, said, “It might look tacky next to that beautiful monument.”
    It was mentioned that the eagle and the heron are currently being worked on by the sculptor. This prompted some concerns by committee members that this project of placing birds around the city has not had (and needs) final approval by council. Osterday, said, “It’s seems like they are putting the cart ahead of the horse. This hasn’t been approved by the council and tonight we find out two of the birds are being produced.”
    Maintenance of the birds was brought up again. Osterday said, “That’s not a small issue, if the paint fades, or a beak gets busted off – who will be responsible for fixing the birds up if something happens. We need to get that ironed out.”
    Berget will contact Cashman and give her an update of the committee’s concerns.
Gator
    The committee was asked to reapprove the purchase of John Deere Gator TX with deluxe cargo box and side rack that weedeaters could be strapped to. The functions the Gator will perform is preparing ball fields for games, transporting workers in the parks, maintaining and cleaning the camp grounds. The price for the new vehicle is $8,500 from Sloan Implement in Cuba City. The purchase was approved and will need to go to full city council for final approval.
    In Other Business:
    •Approved 2018 Park & Rec summer employment positions and ad for paper. Final approval at full city council is required.
    •Berget gave an update on recreation programs. Just finished up basketball program Feb. 24; Dodgeball program will begin March 6. Girls Softball and Pony League baseball will have signups at the end of March.
    •Bunny Hop Run/Walk will be held Saturday, March 31. This years proposed recipient of a portion of the Bunny Hop proceeds is Carson Hartwig. Approved. Needs full council approval.

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