The Unified Government Commission may take a serious look at the YMCA’s proposal to build a new downtown facility.
A straw poll was taken during a UG Commission meeting June 6 showing most commissioners present supported pursuing the issue further. The poll was not binding, and no binding action was taken. Commissioners Ann Murguia and Angela Markley were not present at this meeting.
Commissioners at the meeting said they had several questions they needed answers about before proceeding, and may schedule a future meeting with Y officials.
Mayor Mark Holland said he supported having a recreational facility for children in the downtown area, and needed direction from the commission about it.
If they wanted to build their own new recreational facility downtown, according to UG officials, they haven’t found anyone who would want to contribute as much to it as the Y.
While a temporary agreement was reached between the Y and UG to keep the downtown facility open for a year, there is no commitment by the Y to keep it open after that, according to Mayor Holland.
At the May 16 meeting, YMCA officials asked the UG to participate in financing a new Y building. The UG may be expected to contribute $6 million of the cost under a Y proposal, and participate in a capital campaign, according to Holland. He also talked about finding a way to make sure all children can use the Y.
It could take from two to three years to get this project accomplished, according to UG officials. One of the figures mentioned was UG funding of about a half-million a year for 20 years. The commission discussed funding coming from revenues the UG may receive when STAR bonds are paid off.
The commission also considered several requests from other groups for funding projects.
The Wyandotte County Fair and County Fair Foundation requested $1.72 million for the fairgrounds improvements, including heating and air conditioning, kitchen, restroom, youth sports, trap shooting, pistol and rifle range, equipment storage, public walking trail, pocket park to serve the area, benches and other improvements.
The fair officials asked for three-tenths of a mill that they formerly received before budget cuts a few years ago. Commissioner Mike Kane asked for a more detailed plan, and Commissioner Hal Walker also asked for a plan.
A proposal from Sunflower Hills Golf Course at Wyandotte County Park, Bonner Springs, for $1.2 million in improvements resulted in some commission requests to do a study or analysis. The golf course proposed to remodel and renovate the clubhouse, and expand it to include a banquet and meeting room for 200 people.
There was a consensus among the commissioners to support $7,500 for the Wyandotte County Sports Association to help pay for utilities and maintenance.
Public comments are still being accepted to the UG budget through June 16 through an online survey at the UG’s website, www.wycokck.org. There is also another public hearing on the budget on July 29; however, much of the budget plans could be in place by then. The budget presentation is scheduled July 15 and the adoption of the budget is planned Aug. 1.