The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

May 10, 2013

Better Greenville

Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — To the editor:

Take a step back and imagine what a “better Greenville” looks like to you.

For me, a better Greenville is a place where every student can take potentially lifesaving swimming lessons for free. It’s a place with an educated, tech savvy workforce that is an attractive place for businesses to open. It’s a place where families have opportunities to learn, grow and enjoy healthy lives alongside each other through fun, engaging activities.

That is the Greenville I envision taking shape in a few short years if citizens step up and vote Yes for the new YMCA and event center. And we can do it for $2.08 a month per household.

Yes, just $2.08. My caramel macchiato costs more than that, and it doesn’t provide nearly the long-term benefit to the community.

Yes, numbers like $15 million have been published and discussed. While accurate, that number doesn’t tell the whole story. It doesn’t tell you that after the contributions from private pledges and public partnerships, the tax will decrease from five cents to two per $100 of assessed value, or $25 a year for the average homeowner.

It also doesn’t tell you that a portion of the event center’s profits will go toward paying the debt, further decreasing the amount taxpayers pay each year. Fundraising also will continue, potentially bringing in additional dollars.

You may think, “It’s just a YMCA. I don’t go there now, why should I pay for a new one?”

Do you know someone who could use computer training in order to change jobs? The Hope Center will open up in the new YMCA, and provide much-needed training and more free of charge to the community.

Do you know a child who can’t swim? GISD plans to partner with the YMCA to provide swimming lessons for every second and seventh grader in the district.

Do you want to see Greenville grow? The new YMCA will foster expanded retail, commercial and residential growth for our economy.

For these reasons and more, a new YMCA/events center is a step toward a better Greenville.

I hope you’ll agree, and vote “yes” for the new YMCA on May 11.

Ashley Johnson