Standard-Examiner staff OGDEN -- Facing a crowd of more than 50 people, many of them senior citizens, Mayor Matthew Godfrey gave final approval Monday to an agreement allowing Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership to manage the Marshall White Center. During a public hearing, Godfrey told the throng that spilled out of a conference room on the ninth floor of the Municipal Building into an adjoining foyer that his decision to turn over management of the center on Wednesday may not be popular but is necessary. "We have not done a good job with the Marshall White Center," he said. "Somebody (OWCAP) can do a better job than ourselves." He went on to say that some at the public hearing may resent his decision. "You may leave this room and continue to hate me," Godfrey said. "I understand that and know that. But I'm willing to pay the price." Most of the people who spoke before and after the public hearing expressed concern that OWCAP would shut down the center's indoor pool, which could end several popular programs, such as senior water aerobics. "We really want you to make a commitment to keep the pool open," Julie Aldrich, a water aerobics instructor at the center pool, told Godfrey. Godfrey replied that OWCAP is optimistic it will receive grant money to keep the pool operational, but there is no guarantee. George Garwood Jr., chairman of OWCAP's board of trustees, said Monday the organization is applying for grants to make repairs to the pool so it can stay open. "We are excited (to manage the Marshall White Center) and are working hard to get additional funds," he said. OWCAP plans to apply for a federal grant next month that would enable the organization to build additional Head Start classrooms on the northwest side of the center, and expand programs. OWCAP is also said to be preparing applications for eight state and federal grants totaling about $3.8 million to expand Head Start services for children ages 3 to 5 and to add several new youth programs at the center. The new programs would focus on such things as juvenile delinquency prevention, homelessness outreach, employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, gang prevention, community training to prevent child sexual exploitation, and economic recovery issues. The management agreement with OWCAP calls for the city to reimburse the organization up to $30,000 a month for operational expenses and employee salaries associated with running the center. It's anticipated that the management agreement will run through the end of 2009 because the city's administration is optimistic OWCAP will have obtained sufficient grant funds by that time to lease the center and pay for all operational expenses. Lillian Bunderson, of Ogden, asked why the city simply couldn't use the $30,000 per month it plans to give OWCAP to instead retain the facility? Marion Duffey, also of Ogden, said the center is vital because it serves as a gathering place for individuals of all ages. "It's very unique in that you have this situation where you have young and old together learning from each other," she said. Ogden's fiscal 2010 budget, adopted earlier this month by the city council, provides full funding of $337,450, which would keep the center's programs in place and pool open after the end of the year. Included in the budget is a council policy mandating that the OWCAP maintain those programs and the pool. Godfrey has said the policy encroaches on the administration's executive powers. However, he told the Standard-Examiner on Monday he hasn't decided whether to veto the 2010 budget because of the policy.