It’s not a vote for building a Community Center.
It’s a vote for building the future of our community.
This is yet another watershed moment for our community and City Council. Soon, it will be up to our City Council to acknowledge where we have been, where we are now, and ultimately, decide if Fairmont will join the long list of prospering communities that enjoy the benefits of a Community Center. And perhaps most importantly, vote to invest in the health, well-being, and future growth of our community.
With that, we want to make sure city leaders, council, and community members are well informed about the project and can engage, ask questions, learn, and understand the economic and societal impact of the upcoming decision.
To date, $5.4 million dollars have been pledged towards the Community Center project.
The Foundation is appreciative of the early supporters of this project and remains confident that the goal of raising $6.5 million of private funds will be met. 80% of our goal has already been reached.
95% of the of pledges received are contingent on the YMCA’s involvement and commitment to operating the Community Center.
This is in alignment with the City’s Council’s own resolution to commit $14 million of sales tax dollars towards construction of a community center ONLY if operated by the YMCA.
A facility can be built that meets the current project budget.
With the City’s commitment of $14 million in sales tax funds, and the Foundation’s private fundraising commitments, constructing a $20 million YMCA facility is financially attainable. The Foundation also believes it has the ability to garner up to an additional $2-3 million of support if the budget exceeds $20 million.
Sustainable operations will be required for the YMCA, both on an annual basis and for the longer-term.
To help ensure sustainability, the Foundation will maintain oversight of the community center operator to ensure fiscal responsibility. The YMCA is a credible partner and has worked diligently alongside the Foundation to develop sustainable operating plans. The Foundation also continues to initiate conversations with the City to solidify details for long-term lease and usage agreements.
Partnering with the YMCA is a civic growth strategy to build a strong, healthy and vibrant community.
- A community center attracts and retains families young and old.
- The Community Center is an amenity to make Fairmont a more attractive place to live, work, and visit. It will build on existing amenities such as our parks, lakes, arts, and sport complexes. It will help businesses attract and retain employees.
- A community center helps address critical community needs.
- The YMCA has already begun partnership efforts with the Fairmont Area Schools to develop before and after school programs as well as school aged daycare options during non-school days.
- A YMCA is for the entire community.
- The YMCA will work side by side with our community to be sure everyone, regardless of age, income, or background, has an opportunity to utilize and enjoy the facility. It is part of the Y’s fundamental mission. It is also why a community center is so beneficial to a community: it provides the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
The vision for the Community Center is to have both a YMCA and Ice Arena. Given current costs, however, it would be extremely difficult to obtain funding to support building everything at once.
This has been a long-standing issue, and, in the past, ice has been presented as a phased option or add-on to the Community Center after the YMCA portion is built. This is because the current funding from both the City and private donors is contingent on YMCA involvement because of their operating expertise and programming.
It is the Foundation’s hope that the City will pro-actively consider investing additional dollars, or exploring other funding opportunities, which so many other cities do, to support the ice arena as a part of the community center project. The Foundation’s intent is to continue to advocate and partner with the Fairmont Youth Hockey Association. We recognize and support the value that ice brings to the community.
There is broad community support for this project.
Both businesses and citizens are excited for and support a new community center, as is evidenced by the recent half-million dollars donated by Bank Midwest. So, while supporters tend to be the silent majority, their support is wide-spread and not to be ignored or overlooked.
Now is the time for the City Council to capitalize on this moment and make a watershed decision to invest in the long-term health, well-being, and growth of our community.
Fairmont Area Community Center Foundation
John Edman, John Kasper, Fred Krahmer, Amy Long, Karin Rosen