Free recreation centers in the Bronx soon to be thing of the past

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation plan on charging fees for recreation centers in the city and the Bronx starting in July.

Park officials say membership fees for the centers will range from $50 to $70 dollars a year. They defend the fees saying they are less than the $200 gyms charge their members. Officials say members go to centers that charge fees more often.

Critics say the recreation centers are in low-income neighborhoods with high rates of obesity, hurting those who need it most. Those opposed also say when centers start charging fees, overall attendance declined.

The centers will still be free to those 17 years old and under. The Saint Mary?s Recreation Center on 145th Street and the Hunts Point Recreation Center on Manida Street are the two facilities in the Bronx affected by the change.

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