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YMCA receives public support in feasibility study

Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 9:30 am

“Overwhelmingly positive” results were received regarding feasible community support of a YMCA facility in Vandalia, especially for developing programs and activities for the city’s youth and elderly.

YMCA representatives came to the Vandalia area in late November to interview 33 community leaders on whether they believed a “Y” was a option for the city. A separate feasibility study will be underway regarding funding the start of a facility.

“It was a very positive outcome,” Sherry Medley, executive director of the Mexico YMCA, said regarding the community support of the project. “I can’t think of anything that negative.”

According to the compiled results, most had limited knowledge of YMCA as an organization with three of the 33 stating they had previously been members of a “Y.”

The results noted limited or no programing provided for everyone outside of area churches with schools and churches considered to be the best outlets for YMCA programs.

As for support of the facility, 23 said the community would financially support a YMCA. For those who disagreed, “many commented that there were a lot of poor people in the community,” and “several wanted to say ‘yes’ but were not sure with the small population and the number of low income families.”

Thirty-one said they would support the facility with their time with one being “unsure” and one saying no; 31 would become a member with two unable to join due to time constraints; 32 said they would donate within their means with one stating a membership would likely prohibit a donation.

Other comments provided in the results include concerns for the lack of a gym and the failure of “Curves.”

Other notable comments called for a an enclosed pool and building the facility near the city pool and tennis courts, as well as moving the library into existing space and just building a YMCA.

“Next to determine, if this is to move forward, how would we fund the building of the facility since there will be no tax dollars at this point, how will we do that?” Medley said.

A steering committee separate from the City of Vandalia’s initial committee continues to meet to developing funding avenues.

“As long as we keep getting positive feedback, we will keep moving forward, Medley said.