YMCA goal not met, but effort to reduce debt continues

Published 7:43pm Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Although the YMCA of Selma did not meet their goal of $1 million by Dec. 31, an agreement they made with two of the three major debt holders back in October that would have eliminated a significant portion of the Y’s debt, YMCA of Selma executive director Bill Porter said they are still working on raising funds.

“At this time the only contact I’ve had with one of the banks, was they wanted a copy of our financial statement. That’s the only thing I’ve heard from them,” Porter said. “I’ve already informed them that we did not make the goal, but I have not heard a word from them.”

Porter seemed hopeful and said they are still trying to raise money to save the Y.

“Fund drives can be ongoing,” he said. “Everything is still out there. We’re still on the radio, we’ve still got our advertising out and our signs out and there’s some contact being made. So we’re still trying to raise some more funds.”

Porter said the YMCA is still accepting contributions, and encouraged anyone who would like to give money in support of the Y, to go ahead and send their contribution in.

“The YMCA is extremely important for Selma and Dallas County. It’s been here for over 150 years and it would be devastating to this community if this Y was, of course, lost,” Porter said.

However, the YMCA does have some news to smile about as the Selma City Council approved the ordinance regarding the city’s lodging fee of $2 per room, per night on all hotels located within city limits and police jurisdiction — $1.50 of which will go towards the YMCA of Selma, in an effort to promote long term support, sustaining and stabilizing the YMCA.

“We were elated at the fact that the city council passed unanimously, for the ones who were there, the lodging fee,” Porter said. “Now we’re going to work out a contract with the city for the $1.50 that the YMCA will receive and what programs we plan to offer, and how we plan to update our involvement in the community.”

Porter said he imagines the new lodging fee will bring in anywhere from $120,000 to $180,000 each year, depending on the occupancy of city hotels.

“Depending on the occupancy and what goes on in Selma and how many people come in here for the events — that could impact the YMCA,” Porter said. “So we feel like it’s going to be a great impact and a great help to the YMCA.”

The ordinance will go into effect beginning Feb. 1, but the YMCA won’t receive any funds until they actually receive the contract with the city and get everything lined up, Porter said.

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