March 9, 2017
MOUNT VERNON — In a packed hearing room Tuesday, the Board of Skagit County Commissioners pledged $600,000 to the Skagit Valley Family YMCA.
The money will be paid out in $150,000 chunks over the next four years, said Commissioner Ron Wesen, and will be put toward construction of the new facility in Mount Vernon in exchange for special access to facilities.
“(The county) is helping secure a legacy for the Y over the next 100 years,” said Renata Maybruck, campaign director for Skagit Valley Family YMCA.
Brian Adams, county director of Parks, Recreation and Fair, said the agreement gives the county access to two full-sized basketball courts two days a week for its youth basketball program for 10 years.
“Gym space is the major limiting factor for our league,” Adams said. “Teams aren’t able to find places to practice.”
The new facility is also expected to have two pools, a learning kitchen, a community room, and an early learning center with licensed day care services.
The county is the second local government to pitch in on the construction of the new YMCA. The city of Sedro-Woolley made a $50,000 pledge in February in exchange for a monthly Sedro-Woolley swim night.
Adams said the goals of the county’s basketball league mesh well with the YMCA’s goal of addressing childhood obesity.
At the agreement’s announcement Tuesday afternoon, several elected officials and community members spoke to the positive impact the YMCA’s new facility will have in the county.
Mount Vernon City Councilman Joe Lundquist said if governments had to provide the same services as a YMCA, it would be prohibitively expensive.
“The YMCA has played an important role in Skagit County for more than 100 years, and hopefully this project can keep the organization in the county for another 100 years,” he said.
He said the county’s agreement should be a model for Mount Vernon, which has yet to contribut to the YMCA.
The commissioners also signed a proclamation declaring today the Skagit Valley Family YMCA Day of Giving.
Maybruck said the YMCA’s goal is to raise $100,000 in one day, and has pledges to match donations dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000. People can donate at letsbuildit2019.org.
The total cost of the project is $21 million, and the YMCA has a goal to raise $11 million from individuals, businesses and foundations.
Maybruck said the YMCA has raised $9.2 million.