North Strabane supervisors approve $2 million for YMCA

Karen Mansfield

Plans to build a YMCA facility in North Strabane Township are moving forward.

Township supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a $2 million capital contribution to YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh for construction of a YMCA facility in the township.

Supervisors also authorized Vice Chairman Robert Balogh to continue negotiations on a development agreement with Kevin Bolding, president and CEO of YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh.

The township will make five annual payments of $400,000 to the Y, using the gaming revenue it receives annually from The Meadows Racetrack & Casino.

Last month, supervisors rejected a development agreement with the YMCA, in part because of a non-compete clause the Y included in the deal.

Township manager Frank Siffrinn said he believes issues between the township and the Y will be resolved.

“It would be premature at this time to say it’s a done deal because there are other issues to be worked out, but I’m confident the issues can be addressed to the satisfaction of both parties,” said Siffrinn. “At this point in time, we’re hopeful there’s going to be a Y.”

Last month, the YMCA estimated construction of a new building would cost between $12 million and $14 million, based on a preliminary analysis. The YMCA planned to raise funds for 50 percent of the cost of the facility and finance the remaining 50 percent. A site for the facility has not been determined.

Bolding expressed appreciation at the board’s decision to reconsider its June 27 vote against providing funding for the proposed YMCA.

“The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh is grateful that North Strabane Township continues to see value in our programs and services for children, youth and families,” said Bolding. “We appreciate their vote of confidence and look forward to exploring ways in which we may expand our work in Washington County.”

Siffrinn said the township does not intend to duplicate services offered by the YMCA.

“We don’t want to compete with them, they don’t want to compete with us,” said Siffrinn. “When this dialogue started five or six years ago, there was a synergy, and neither they nor we wanted duplication of services.”

The two parties plan to meet within a week to discuss the agreement.