Discussions continue on how to fill in the gap following last year's closure of the YMCA in Yarmouth.
The closure came about due to ongoing financial problems the facility was having, coupled with the impact of the COVID pandemic, which had made a bad situation even worse.
The Town of Yarmouth purchased the YMCA shortly after it closed in June 2020 in hopes of reopening the facility – especially given that a hoped-for Mariners Centre expansion with an aquatics facility is still a long ways off.
Having an operation back up and running in the former Y building would include having an already developed membership program, policies, staff and other essentials in place for when a Mariners Centre expansion happens.
But in order for the Y building to reopen and act as a “bridge” until a Mariners Centre expansion takes place, funds must be invested.
A report prepared by Maricor Consulting for the town outlines high priority items. The estimated cost to replace and/or refurbish the essentials is $499,450.
“We have to have our partners on board,” said Mayor Pam Mood, referring to the Municipality of Yarmouth and Municipality of Argyle assisting with the cost.
The funding required from councils would be considerably higher than each has provided for Y operation in the past.
John Cunningham, warden of the Municipality of Yarmouth, says their council is committed to a bridge solution that does not risk the financial and political will necessary for the expansion at the Mariners Centre.
“Council and staff are committed to following the terms of reference as outlined,” he said.
Municipality of Argyle CAO Alain Muise said the issue would first fall to a subcommittee of the three councils prior to taking the next steps.
“Those meetings will occur as swiftly as practical is my understanding,” he said.
Councils continue to discuss the issue at their council meetings.
A trust fund has been established by the Town of Yarmouth for the specific purpose of supporting the reopening of the facility at 275 Main Street, formerly operated by the Yarmouth YMCA. Funds may be used for repairs to the building or other expenses deemed necessary for reopening. In the event the facility cannot reopen, the Town will return the funds to those individuals, companies or groups that provide sufficient information to the Town for the return of the funds. Should sufficient information not be provided to return the funds, the Town may use the funds for a similar purpose.