Over the past few months, the Eastern Missouri Family YMCA Project has been faced with some hurdles to overcome and strategize for success. The current hurdle is securing financing for the project. The project currently has a balance of $1.60 Million; however, a large portion is in pledges that will be collected over the next five years.
In order to begin construction, the pledges have to be financed with a loan to pay for construction and materials in today’s time. Discussion with several banks has occurred and yielded similar comments. Loans based upon pledges are considered a higher risk. Therefore, interest rates are higher and $150,000- $200,000 must be dedicated to pay loan interest. The dedication of these funds for interest would require additional fundraising or reduction in the facility size and amenities offered.
Another funding option available is the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program (REDLG). This program offers 10-year interest-free loans for community development projects; however, a sponsor is needed for the application. Consolidated Electric Cooperative, located in Mexico, Mo., is willing to review the YMCA Project for loan sponsorship. If approved, the application is then submitted to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for further approval and finalization. The timeline for the REDLG application submittal and review would occur throughout the summer months.
Everyone would very much like to begin construction immediately, but conscious decisions have to be made with the donations received for the project.
The decision to obtain a loan for immediate construction or delay construction to apply for the REDLG loan has been debated amongst the Vandalia Recreation Corporation and YMCA committees. After numerous discussions, committee members feel pursuing the REDLG loan will offer the best value strategy for the project.
Since pursuing the REDLG loan will change the construction timeline for the project, conversations have occurred with administrators for the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) Grant. The conversations have been very positive and the project has been granted a verbal agreement for a project completion date extension. The administrators have advised the official application for extension be submitted after the project funding is secured.
Shared resources from the well-established Mexico Area Family YMCA will ensure the Eastern Missouri Family YMCA will have a great start and bring several opportunities to the area. Members of other YMCA’s always comment upon the welcoming atmosphere and sense of community a YMCA brings to their town. A YMCA will offer so many opportunities for the area that are beyond the typical exercise and sports programs. It will be a place for seniors to age gracefully through wellness programs and friendly social environment, plus it will provide a place where children will be nurtured through play, good nutrition, and positive role models. The Eastern Missouri Family YMCA is meant to strengthen and unite the many communities surrounding Vandalia.
The YMCA Project has overcome numerous hurdles in the past and it will overcome the hurdle to secure financing. Various community volunteers and leaders have been working on this project for a long time and want to see the project come to fruition. The project is so close to becoming a reality for the area, please continue to be patient, supportive, and share the vision related to the opportunities that a YMCA will bring.
Pledges and donations are still needed. Please help further secure the project by visiting the project website, www.emoymca.org to access a pledge form or email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive more project information.