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Town hears YMCA plans

Even if Pulaski County develops an indoor Wellness Center, officials with Hensel Eckman YMCA say it is their intention for the “Y” to continue operation in some capacity.
“Y” Director Suzanne Wantland told members of Pulaski Town Council Tuesday that the “Y” has been “really struggling” since Pulaski Community Hospital pulled its cardiac program from the facility in June. Nonetheless, she said it is the Board of Directors’ intention to find a way to continue fulfilling the “Y’s” mission to serve community needs.
“It doesn’t have to be a place to lift weights or use the pool,” she said.
In order to better define the “Y’s” future, she said the board would like to meet with officials from the town and county, and with senior and social service organizations, to pinpoint areas of need.
Board President Dave Adkins told council that Wantland was left with “a real deep hole to dig out of” when she took over the “Y.”
Although they essentially ended up with about a $2,000 “profit,” (it’s a non-profit organization) for 2009, Adkins said it is ending up with a $27,000 net loss when depreciation is removed from the figures.
“We’re digging out of a big hole,” he said, adding that the facility raised $30,000 toward the end of the year.
If the county does build a center, Adkins estimates the “Y” could lose 35 to 40 percent of its membership, but they are going to have to study the local demographics more before knowing how to make up for that loss.
For the coming year, Adkins said the board of directors is anticipating a $4,000 to $5,000 per month shortfall “all things staying equal.”
Councilman Joel Burchett Jr. said he recently met with Assistant County Administrator Robert Hiss to see if it is possible money that would be used for the Wellness Center could be used for an expansion of the “Y.” He said he interpreted Hiss’ response to be “not really.”
Burchett said he would like to see a study done to find out how much it would cost to expand the “Y” because he thinks the community would prefer the money be used for an expansion if that route is more cost effective.
“Would that be possible” from the “Y’s” perspective?, he asked Wantland and Adkins.
“It’s the intention of the board of directors for the “Y” to be where it is now in some form,” Adkins said. “He said they are willing to work with the county in a collaboration as long at the “Y” can stay under the auspices of the YMCA.
“Yes, we would welcome those discussions,” he told Burchett. He said the “Y” has some property it could expand onto, but not enough to include soccer fields and ball fields included in the county plan.
Burchett said he doesn’t see how the county could “in good conscience” spend money to buy the TMD Friction building and remodel it if the “Y” could be expanded “at half the cost.”
However, Burchett noted that the county is under a timing limit since the TMD Friction building is slated to go to auction later this month. He wondered if the county could do a six-month to one-year purchase option to allow time to look into the cost of expanding the “Y.”
He said the expansion may be as much as the county’s plan, but “I’d hate to see us proceed without the figures.”
Wantland said several of the “Y’s” senior members have come to them concerned about how far out of Pulaski the Wellness Center would be. She said most have limited transportation options. She suggested the “Y” could be a satellite wellness center.
Wantland and Adkins said they have had several meetings with county officials, but the subject of a “Y” expansion has never been addressed.
Mayor Jeff Worrell said it is his understanding that the county doesn’t want to do a Wellness Center “at the expense of the YMCA.
“We want to be part of the community,” Wantland said. However, she said they are currently in limbo as to where they will fit in.
Adkins pointed out there has been a “Y” in the county since 1947 and the last thing the board of directors wants to do is “see another million dollar building setting on the hill empty.” He agreed with Worrell that it is not the county’s intention or desire to shut down the “Y.”
“We have to figure out how to co-exist and mingle,” he said.
Worrell suggested town staff arrange for the town to facilitate a meeting between the board of directors, board of supervisors and town council to discuss the issue.
Burchett said he would like to see the full boards and council participating if possible. “The more the better,” he added.

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Town hears YMCA plans

Even if Pulaski County develops an indoor Wellness Center, officials with Hensel Eckman YMCA say it is their intention for the “Y” to continue operation in some capacity.
“Y” Director Suzanne Wantland told members of Pulaski Town Council Tuesday that the “Y” has been “really struggling” since Pulaski Community Hospital pulled its cardiac program from the facility in June. Nonetheless, she said it is the Board of Directors’ intention to find a way to continue fulfilling the “Y’s” mission to serve community needs.
“It doesn’t have to be a place to lift weights or use the pool,” she said.
In order to better define the “Y’s” future, she said the board would like to meet with officials from the town and county, and with senior and social service organizations, to pinpoint areas of need.
Board President Dave Adkins told council that Wantland was left with “a real deep hole to dig out of” when she took over the “Y.”
Although they essentially ended up with about a $2,000 “profit,” (it’s a non-profit organization) for 2009, Adkins said it is ending up with a $27,000 net loss when depreciation is removed from the figures.
“We’re digging out of a big hole,” he said, adding that the facility raised $30,000 toward the end of the year.
If the county does build a center, Adkins estimates the “Y” could lose 35 to 40 percent of its membership, but they are going to have to study the local demographics more before knowing how to make up for that loss.
For the coming year, Adkins said the board of directors is anticipating a $4,000 to $5,000 per month shortfall “all things staying equal.”
Councilman Joel Burchett Jr. said he recently met with Assistant County Administrator Robert Hiss to see if it is possible money that would be used for the Wellness Center could be used for an expansion of the “Y.” He said he interpreted Hiss’ response to be “not really.”
Burchett said he would like to see a study done to find out how much it would cost to expand the “Y” because he thinks the community would prefer the money be used for an expansion if that route is more cost effective.
“Would that be possible” from the “Y’s” perspective?, he asked Wantland and Adkins.
“It’s the intention of the board of directors for the “Y” to be where it is now in some form,” Adkins said. “He said they are willing to work with the county in a collaboration as long at the “Y” can stay under the auspices of the YMCA.
“Yes, we would welcome those discussions,” he told Burchett. He said the “Y” has some property it could expand onto, but not enough to include soccer fields and ball fields included in the county plan.
Burchett said he doesn’t see how the county could “in good conscience” spend money to buy the TMD Friction building and remodel it if the “Y” could be expanded “at half the cost.”
However, Burchett noted that the county is under a timing limit since the TMD Friction building is slated to go to auction later this month. He wondered if the county could do a six-month to one-year purchase option to allow time to look into the cost of expanding the “Y.”
He said the expansion may be as much as the county’s plan, but “I’d hate to see us proceed without the figures.”
Wantland said several of the “Y’s” senior members have come to them concerned about how far out of Pulaski the Wellness Center would be. She said most have limited transportation options. She suggested the “Y” could be a satellite wellness center.
Wantland and Adkins said they have had several meetings with county officials, but the subject of a “Y” expansion has never been addressed.
Mayor Jeff Worrell said it is his understanding that the county doesn’t want to do a Wellness Center “at the expense of the YMCA.
“We want to be part of the community,” Wantland said. However, she said they are currently in limbo as to where they will fit in.
Adkins pointed out there has been a “Y” in the county since 1947 and the last thing the board of directors wants to do is “see another million dollar building setting on the hill empty.” He agreed with Worrell that it is not the county’s intention or desire to shut down the “Y.”
“We have to figure out how to co-exist and mingle,” he said.
Worrell suggested town staff arrange for the town to facilitate a meeting between the board of directors, board of supervisors and town council to discuss the issue.
Burchett said he would like to see the full boards and council participating if possible. “The more the better,” he added.

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