The fee hike is part of meeting the Y's long term financial obligations, Director Randi Clifford said. The management agreement with the city provides decreasing amount of support for the center over a three year period following the turnover of the Sheridan Activity Center to the YMCA at the start of this year.
Members should expect rates to continue to increase as the city's financial support for the center wanes.
"We'd rather do it incrementally than look at a bigger jump down the road," Clifford said.
This year the city is paying 75 percent of the center's personnel costs. That subsidy will decrease 25 percent per year until 2016, when the center will have established a more traditional YMCA funding model, relying on membership fees, program fees and donations, Clifford said.
Until the start of this year, the building had been operated as a shared activity center between the YMCA and the city.
Membership fees for seniors and guests will not increase this year, nor will rates for former Sheridan members that have maintained an active membership. Rates for those grandfathered members will not increase until 2016 when the agreement with the city ends.
The Garden City YMCA, which operates the one in Dodge, will also see a rate increase this year, said CEO Chad Knight. Dodge City membership rates will also remain lower than Garden City's rates.
The Dodge City Family YMCA operates nine afterschool care centers with more than 520 children enrolled. That program has benefited from a $2 million grant from a U.S. Department of Education program shared with the Dodge City school district.
The YMCA currently has 2,207 members, up from 624 last year comprising 959 "paying units," such as families, up from 421 at this time last year, Knight said. Enrollment exceeded expectations, Knight said, which has allowed the center to reduce its expected loss this year by almost $30,000.