Time running out for YMCA pool

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - It's unlikely Amherst will be in a position to prevent the closure of the YMCA pool at its March 16 deadline.

Mayor Rob Small said the town is continuing to work with its partner, the Municipality of Cumberland, to find ways to provide additional funding to the cash-strapped facility, but he said the town does not want to make any rash decisions on the matter.

"The problem with deadlines is you may make the wrong decision," Small said. "It's only two weeks away and there's still a lot of work that needs to be done. It's consuming a lot of staff time right now."

The future of the YMCA pool was placed in doubt last week when the board of directors announced it will close it because it can't afford to maintain it without threatening the viability of the entire organization.

The YMCA has asked the town and the county to come forward as partners and take over the funding of the pool, believed to be in the vicinity of $300,000 annually.

Small said the town is already working on a list of priorities for the coming year including redeveloping Dickey Park and revitalizing the downtown. Small feels the situation at the YMCA will be added to that list.

The town and the county met behind closed doors last week to discuss the situation at the YMCA and both councils have asked municipal staff to bring forward various options for both to consider.

"Staff has provided some options but have also requested some more information," Small said. "We're going to move forward cautiously and once we have some more information we'll make our decisions accordingly."

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: YMCA

Geographic location: Cumberland, Dickey Park

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