To the editor:
In response to the editorial published by the Herald-Banner on April 28 stating that the staff believes more time is required before an informed decision can be made on the issuance of public bonds for a new YMCA and Event Center…
First, let’s examine the facts. The new YMCA has been discussed and investigated over the past two years, as noted by the Herald-Banner. This is a decision that has not been made lightly but with thoughtful consideration over that time period.
Second, a committee was formed by the City Council to determine the feasibility and need for community support of the project. This committee met on several occasions in open forum, allowing not only committee members but all citizens to provide input and comments. The Herald-Banner, I believe, was absent from all but the first organizational meeting.
Third, the committee determined that the best use of public funds would be to construct a new building that could be leased to the YMCA but also have other public uses as an Event Center. This provides the community with a dual-use facility that could create a secondary revenue stream for the community by hosting events and drawing visitors to the community. Some of the events discussed were the ability to host robotic competitions (of which Greenville High School is nationally recognized as one of the top high school programs in the country), sporting events, and other activities that require larger venues than are currently available in the city.
The bond initiative is to determine whether the citizens of the city would like to support such a facility with public money or not. It does not determine the exact operations but sets the stage to continue with the next steps. If the bond initiative was not placed on the May ballot, it would have to wait until November and valuable time would have been lost.
All other requirements for the building, architect costs, management committee to determine the exact relationship between the City and the YMCA, event scheduling and priorities are moot if the community does not support the project. In being a good steward of the current funds the YMCA and the city now possess, it is far better to have an election to gauge public support before any more money is spent.
I would urge all citizens to vote so that we know how the community feels towards this project, and I hope you vote in favor of the project to continue the momentum which is starting to move Greenville forward.