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Local News

March 21, 2014

Council to receive update on YMCA project

GREENVILLE — The Greenville City Council expects to hear more next month about the YMCA/event center project.

Mayor Steve Reid said he spoke this week with David Bench, who represents a YMCA board committee involved with the effort.

“He is looking for different ways, or opportunities, to approach the council about the committee he is on,” Reid said, adding that Bench is wanting to speak before the council in April.

Instead, Reid recommended Bench approach one of the council’s sub-committees first.

“I don’t know which one that would be,” Reid said. “And then if the sub-committee thinks that needs to be presented to the full council then that’s fine.”

Bench could not be reached for comment about the status of the project.

Little has been said about the YMCA/event center since December, when Dr. Jerry Ransom, the chairman of the committee which had sought to place the $15 million bond proposition on the May 2013 election ballot, announced he was reaffirming his support for the effort.

In the announcement, Ransom said he believed the project was “headed in the right direction” and would benefit local residents.

City Manager Massoud Ebrahim was scheduled October 22 to brief the Greenville City Council on the status of submissions of statements of qualifications from architectural and engineering firms interested in the project, in order for the council to decide whether to allow Ebrahim to proceed with reviewing each of the company’s qualifications. The council voted to table the measure at that time.

Reid has indicated he is in favor of the new facility, but explained financial challenges facing the City of Greenville will cause the council to take a tough look and prioritize the project against others in the city’s capital plan.

The building will be owned by the City of Greenville and leased to and operated by the YMCA or another public or private entity as a commercial activity community events/recreation center.

The facility would be located in the Greenville SportsPark on Monty Stratton Parkway. Organizers of the project said they have received commitments from several entities toward the cost of the facility, which could reduce the potential tax burden.

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