YMCA to study Valley potential

The YMCA of Greater Seattle will study the Valley this summer to determine the needs of residents, and its own business needs, for the proposed Snoqualmie community center and pool.

Bob Gilbertson, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, said his organization is starting a market research study in the Valley to determine how many residents want to use the planned community center, and how the YMCA could best serve them.

Gilbertson said the new center would have tentative annual operating costs in excess of $1 million, and need about 2,000 members in the first year to be successful.

To use the Y, joining fees are $125 for a family, and $93 per month. Single parent families pay $100 for a joining fee, $68 per month. Seniors pay a $75 joining fee and $47 per month, while teens pay a $50 joining fee and $27 per month. ChildrenÂ’s rates are $25 per month and a $25 joining fee.

Gilbertson stressed that there are scholarships and discounts available for families that earn less than $65,000 per year.

City residents were given a third opportunity to vote on a Snoqualmie Community Center, to be sited on Snoqualmie Ridge, when the Snoqualmie City Council passed an Aug. 11 ordinance putting the $10 million bond before voters on the Nov. 4 general election. The ordinance included language declaring the center bond push an emergency situation.

Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson said emergency declaration was boilerplate language allowing the council to act on a ordinance at the same meeting that it was introduced. Normal council procedure is to wait until a later meeting to approve new ordinances, but Larson said there are no laws forbidding the council from acting on a newly introduced ordinance.

The need for urgency was based on the fact that the council needed to approve the bond that night if it were to meet the next-day deadline to put items on the November ballot.

The city plans to use $100,000 in Snoqualmie Casino mitigation funds to help offset center operating costs. Should incoming revenues not meet operating costs, Larson said the city would look at limiting hours and days of operations to lower costs.

In a worst-case scenario, should the YMCA pull out of Snoqualmie, Larson said the city would look at some of the other partnerships it explored in the run-up to the bond decision, including Encompass, the Boys and Girls Club and the Northwest Center.

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