Local YMCA turns down loan offer from Tiny Township

·3 min read

The North Simcoe YMCA will be making a go at raising funds for reopening without any help from Tiny Township.

Last year, the non-profit approached all four councils in the area seeking support so they could plan a reopening. So far, the chief administrative officers of three out of the four municipalities had already brought the results of discussions to council; Tiny did so recently.

"They made a request for funding but didn’t have a number," said Tim Leitch, interim CAO/director of public works. "We met with the YMCA executive to understand what the plan was and what assistance could be provided. Based on the amount they were looking for, we presented to them a low- or zero-interest loan for two to three years to help them get through the hump."

He added that the amount of the loan Tiny would have offered would have been $68,400 (based on Tiny's population) and/or $48,450 (by the number of township users).

"They’ve discussed it with their executive and they decided they won’t look for a loan, but look at fundraisers or sponsors," said Leitch.

Where council was content with the decision, there were also some concerns.

"I guess I applaud them for not taking the loan if they didn’t feel they could repay it in the timeframe," said Coun. Cindy Hastings. "My only concern with the Y is that we use it for pool services. If the Y were to get in trouble and close its doors, then Waypoint would be the only facility in close proximity with that services."

She suggested that perhaps staff could look into other ways of helping the Y.

"Is there any funding available to us as municipalities that wouldn’t be available to them as a non-profit?" asked Hastings.

Leitch said staff would have to investigate such options if they do exist.

Mayor George Cornell had another idea around how the township could help.

"The executive director of the Y has reached out to each of the mayors in the community and they understood the municipalities and their position," he said. "They’ve gone through with a community fundraising and they’ve been quite successful. I offered that we’d be happy to promote their campaign. They may be coming back to council at some point."

Deputy Mayor Steffen Walma also had a suggestion.

"Given the fact that this year, I’m assuming that the operating costs of neighbouring arenas have significantly been reduced this year, is there any merit to reaching out to our partners and suggest that this year we’d be interested in deferring their payments and support the YMCA?" he said.

Leitch pointed out that arena use has been a topic of discussion at county level.

"There are still lots of overhead costs associated with rinks," he said, adding it can be investigated.

Coun. Tony Mintoff asked if the payment would have been been one-time or on a monthly basis.

"My recollection was that their ask wasn’t just a one-time ask but it involves some sort of formula that reaches into the future," he said.

Leitch verified that it would have been money available to the YMCA monthly, however, the discussions never developed to the extent for any specific terms or duration to be identified.

Council received the report for information and forwarded a status quo decision to be ratified at the next meeting.

Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com