Special membership meeting Thursday
AMHERST - The future of the Cumberland YMCA may again be in question.
The Daily News has learned that the downtown recreational facility is again experiencing financial difficulties. The extent of the financial situation is unknown, but the YMCA board has scheduled a special membership meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. to talk to members about a number of issues.
"There are some issues we have to discuss with the membership but we'd rather let them know directly than do it through the media," board chair Bob Nixon said. "It's very important for the membership to be at this meeting."
Nixon said the board is working with both the town and the Municipality of Cumberland but would not elaborate further.
"We're working with both and they're coming up with ideas. It's not something we can solve overnight but there are some options we're looking at," Nixon said.
Along with operating concerns there is also an estimated $500,000 in capital repairs needed including, among other things, a new roof, gym floor and air handling system.
The YMCA has been experiencing financial troubles for quite some time. Things came to a head last December when the organization announced it had a $200,000 accumulated deficit and was facing capital improvements that could no longer be put off.
It appears as though the crisis was averted when the town committed $100,000 earlier this year along with a $60,000 contribution from the county.
Both the Amherst Rotary Club and the Amherst Y's Men have each provided $20,000 while the YMCA had made a similar request to the Amherst Lions Club.
This is not the first time the YMCA has experienced some financial troubles. In the mid-1990s, the facility was closed for 18 months.
The Cumberland YMCA remains the only Y in Canada to reopen after closing for financial reasons. It's highly unlikely it would reopen if it was ever again forced to close.