YMCA Money for Expansion

By: Meg Gatto Email
By: Meg Gatto Email

A new expansion is planned for the Staunton-Augusta YMCA and the organization is looking to the city and county for financial help. This request has raised a lot of questions from taxpayers.

The Staunton-Augusta YMCA has been operating in the community for more than 120 years. Director Morris Peltz says it's time for some much needed renovations.

"We need to add a gymnasium, which is probably the largest part of this project," says Peltz. "We have over 300 children in the basketball program and that really takes a lot of space. So we're looking at expanding that gym. That's one of the major parts of the project."

So far, the Y has raised $3 million, but they still need more to go ahead with the project.

Peltz says, "We've asked for a $50,000 contribution for five years from the City. We'll probably do a similar ask for the county."

However, some area residents say they have concerns about footing the bill for a facility they don't use if the city and county are to donate the money.

Concerned resident Kendra Crowder says, "I really like the Y. My kids went there. I really like it, but, you have to be a member to actually go there. So why shouldn't the members have to pay for it? Why does everyone have to pay for it when you have to be a member to go there? I don't agree with that."

Despite residents' concerns, Peltz insists the two localities should chip in for the renovations, because of how many programs are set up to help so many people in the community.

Peltz says, "We sincerely feel that that’s a small contribution for the work that we do here in this community."

Peltz has already gone before the Staunton City Council to ask for the money. The council says more discussion is needed before a decision is reached. Peltz is now planning a date to go before the Augusta County Board of Supervisors.

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