July 19, 2019

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City won't let YMCA project die

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/5/2015 (1534 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

With no word from the province on proposed funding for three new YMCA-YWCA facilities, a city councillor is pushing for the city to take the lead on the project.

Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt arrived at city hall Wednesday to plead with Mayor Brian Bowman and executive police committee to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the YMCA to revive the project.

"I am optimistic the province will come to the table," Wyatt said. "The city should take the lead. This is about leadership coming from the city... to make sure that we get this done."

The city set aside $1.75 million in the 2014 budget to help fund the YMCA's $140-million plan to build three facilities over 11 years in the southwest, northeast and northwest areas of the city. The plan was contingent on a cost-sharing agreement with the province and the YMCA, leaving the city responsible for $46.7 million for the three facilities.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/5/2015 (1534 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

With no word from the province on proposed funding for three new YMCA-YWCA facilities, a city councillor is pushing for the city to take the lead on the project.

Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt arrived at city hall Wednesday to plead with Mayor Brian Bowman and executive police committee to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the YMCA to revive the project.

'At the end of the day, we are looking for increased options for Winnipeggers'— Brian Bowman

"I am optimistic the province will come to the table," Wyatt said. "The city should take the lead. This is about leadership coming from the city... to make sure that we get this done."

The city set aside $1.75 million in the 2014 budget to help fund the YMCA's $140-million plan to build three facilities over 11 years in the southwest, northeast and northwest areas of the city. The plan was contingent on a cost-sharing agreement with the province and the YMCA, leaving the city responsible for $46.7 million for the three facilities.

However, the province did not come to the table and the $1.75 million was used to balance the 2014 city budget.

EPC endorsed Wyatt's motion, which directs the public service to return in 180 days with an MOU with the YMCA.After the meeting, Bowman said the city will wait and see whether the province will come through with funding.

"Right now, all we are doing is making sure the previous council's motion is given life and the public service be directed to work on the MOU. This has to be worked on in consultation with a variety of partners," Bowman said. "At the end of the day, we are looking for increased options for Winnipeggers for their recreational needs."

Kent Paterson, CEO of the YMCA, said the hope is to build the first facility at an undetermined location in southeast Winnipeg within five or six years.

Asked about the facilities' futures if the province doesn't come to the table, Paterson said they will "cross that bridge when we come it."

"We haven't really gotten to the point yet where we have had something formal to present to the province, so I don't want it to be seen as the province has made a decision to support, or not support the project," he said. "We need to get an MOU with the city done first, in my perspective."

A provincial spokeswoman declined comment on the status of the funding.

"When the City of Winnipeg has prioritized projects in the past, we have been there with matching funding," she said.

The motion will go to council for final approval on May 27.

— Kristin Annable

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