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Yorkville Considering Referendum, Rec Partnership with YMCA

City leaders exploring a $4 million referendum and partnering with the Fox Valley YMCA on an $8 million project.

A possibility for a new recreation facility is emerging as Yorkville leaders consider whether to purchase the when the lease expires next summer.

Leaders are considering seeking a $4 million bond referendum so the city could split the cost of a new recreation facility with the Fox Valley Family YMCA, whose leaders have indicated they plan to build a new facility soon regardless of the city's plans with the REC Center.

Alderman Chris Funkhouser revealed the details at Tuesday's Committee of the Whole meeting. Funkhouser led a meeting Monday with YMCA representatives, who are planning to review the idea with that organization's board members.

The group did not determine where the building would be, what it would include or how it would be managed, Funkhouser said. Some thought a November referendum would give leaders more time to plan than waiting for an April referendum, since the lease on the REC Center expires in June.

City leaders have been discussing purchasing the REC Center for months.

If approved, city would buy the REC Center building (including four rental units), equipment, business and land for $2.5 million, City Administrator Bart Olson said in a memo to City Council members. The owners, Walker Custom Homes, would finance the installment contract at 6 percent interest over 20 years, so the city would pay them $17,910 a month for a total of $4,298,586.

The city held the first of three public hearings on the potential purchase last month. Future hearings will be at the July 24 and Aug. 28 City Council meetings, which start at 7 p.m. Aldermen could vote on the contract on Sept. 11.

But Ward 2 Alderman Jackie Milschewski was worried the YMCA could end up competing with the older REC Center facility in Yorkville. YMCA leaders indicated that they were planning to build a new facility within the next few years, Milschewski said.

"The YMCA, they’re planning to build somewhere," Milschewski said.

Ward 1 Alderman George Gilson Jr. supported pursuing the join venture. He questioned the maintenance costs involved with an older building, as well as the history of annual budget deficits involved with the REC Center. He dubbed the REC Center a "money pit."

Gilson also supported taking the issue to the voters through a referendum.

“I’d rather have them have a say in it," Gilson said.

But Ward 4 Alderman Diane Teeling emphasized that selling bonds would mean a property tax increase for local residents, while the REC Center purchase is expected to be covered by other city funds. She doubted the bond referendum would pass.

Ward 1 Alderman Carlo Colosimo suggested putting two questioned to residents: one of the joint venture with the Fox Valley Family YMCA, and another on purchasing the REC Center.

"Ask the citizens: Should the city ouncil  purchase the REC Center without issuing any bonds?" Colosimo said.

The matter could be discussed at the next City Council meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. July 24 at .

 

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Judith Burks July 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Long winded today. I also need to make a comment about the city using the school facilities for it;s classes. I keep hearing the comment the school district wants to charge too much. This is not true. I have seen the agreement between the city and the school district and it clearly says NO CHARGE for the use of the school facilities. There is an inkind exchange of some police support. Now scheduling can be a challenge but so can any job. People keep getting stuck on OLD disagreements and they need to get over it. If every time I try to talk with you I drag out my bag of grievences then we will never get anywhere. How about starting with the things that work well and move on from there? There are ways the city can support these services without buying the Rec Center or increasing the taxes and they can support the Y's growth plan, too. The YMCA does have a plan to build a new facility and it currently does not include assistance by the city. Residents need to know this new Y facility is coming even if the city does not participate. Then we will have this aging building and years to pay the mortgage with flagging membership support. Something to think about. Let your elected officials know how you feel and what your thinking. Give them a call or send them an email. And definitely VOTE! It's your community.
Concernedcitzen July 14, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Judith, The Y or at least some of their Board members stated they were coming to Yorkville no matter what but when challenged retracted their statement. If they are coming like you said, where is their land?, Where are their finances, why would they propose to work with us with an opt out in 5 years to build ours up or wreck it and build their own? Dig a little deeper, FACT The Y has tried this with other Cities even in IL and when it didn't work left the City and the community high and dry. The facts are out there The why uses the example of one working in Las Vegas....is that the only one that worked in the US. With a city Hmmm Las Vegas Yorkville I see how similar they are. Thank you for entertaining us and yes we as citizens will voice and VOTE with facts.
Judith Burks July 14, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Dear concerned cititzen, I appreciate your concern. I'm concerned, too. That's why I'm on here. This conversation with the YMCA is SO in the infancy of conversation. It's only about possiblities at this point. No need for anyone to get concerned but a great time for dialog. Stay interested and providing input.
Judith Burks July 14, 2012 at 02:50 AM
The land is something they are working on and at this point it is undetermined exactly where they are going. Sorry if that was misleading. They are going to build somewhere but not sure where as of yet. Yorkville doesn't need to be the place but it could be. They had land in the Grande Reserve but then the situation with the developer went south. Just to clarify - they didn't say they were coming to Yorkville. They said they are definitely going to build - location yet to be determined.
Concerned Citizen July 14, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Thank you for admitting that you were possibly misleading. We all want what's best for our community.

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