The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

May 1, 2013

Questioning costs

Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — To the editor:

Voters in Greenville are being given the opportunity to express their opinion regarding Proposition 2 starting with early voting April 29-May 7 and on election day, May 11. The proposed 75,000 sq. ft. YMCA facility is being proposed to replace the current YMCA, which is approximately 25,00 sq. ft.

The YMCA’s current full membership estimate for 2014 is 2,000 members, made up of seven membership categories, ranging from monthly memberships of $15 to $60/month. The YMCA is currently projecting a conservative membership growth of 5 percent per year, for the future.

 I must question the 5 percent growth projection. In 1993 the City of Greenville had a population of 23,771 and in 2013, the population was reported at 26,010. For the past 20 years the annual growth rate of our city has been approximately 0.9 percent per year. According to information disseminated by the City of Greenville in the 2012-13 annual budget, the annual household income in Greenville is only $20,346.

The new YMCA has a proposed cost of $15,000,000.  Based on an approximate current interest rate of 3.5 percent, amortized over a 25-year period, this will result in a total annual principal and interest payment of $910,110 or $75,842 per month. Over the life of the loan, the taxpayer liability is $22,752.763.

In addition to the principal and interest payments, based on the YMCA’s own Operation Pro-forma Information, an annual operating expense of $1,657.255 must be covered by contributions, memberships, program fees and rent, starting with the 2015 budget year. If these annual operating expenses are not realized, they will have to be covered by the taxpayers of Greenville.

A further breakdown of the expenses is detailed in the YMCA’s Pro-forma Information. Salaries, benefits and taxes will total $893,129. General and administrative costs are listed at $331,042. Occupancy-buildings and grounds are listed at $350,000. Capital reserve (major maintenance) costs total $83,084.

Regardless of whether the money is coming from the City of Greenville, Greenville ISD, Hunt County, Hunt Regional Hospital or the Board of Development, the taxpayers of Greenville will be responsible for an annual bill of $2,567,365 per year for the next 25 years.

Advertisements promoting Proposition 2 continue to emphasize possible contributions coming from Greenville ISD, Hunt County, Hunt Regional Hospital, Paris Jr. College, Tourism Fund and the Board of Development. If any of these taxing entities fail to meet their obligation, the burden lies solely on the taxpayers of Greenville.

Duane May