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Copyright 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2004


YMCA gets $1.5 million pledge

Land lease from city still pending

Express Staff Writer

As a debate over public funding drags on, the proposed Wood River Community YMCA got a substantial boost last week.

The Ketchum-based YMCA group announced Friday, July 16, that the family of Edmund W. Dumke and Carol Browning Dumke has pledged $1.5 million towards the $16 million needed to build a proposed recreational complex north of downtown Ketchum.

The pledge brings to $5.5 million the fundraising total for the YMCA project.

"Despite the dramatic population growth and housing boom we have experienced, Blaine County has seen virtually no investment in infrastructure for the community, families or kids," said Ed. E. Dumke, one of the donors. "The YMCA will help fill a major void."

The list of Dumke benefactors also includes Valerie Dumke, Michelle Dumke Praggastis, Andrew Dumke and the Wattis Dumke Foundation.

As proposed, the Wood River Community YMCA would include an indoor facility for concerts and events, an ice rink and a public swimming pool. The YMCA plans to offer sports, recreation and educational programs for people of all ages.

The YMCA group hopes to raise enough money in the coming months to break ground on the project in spring 2005.

The city of Ketchum in 2003 pledged $3 million for the project, with a caveat that a bond issue to establish the funding would be subject to voter approval. The city also pledged to lease a portion of its Park and Ride Lot, at the corner of Warm Springs and Saddle roads, to the YMCA for $1 per year.

Ketchum citizen Larry Young has been leading a petition drive aimed at ensuring the city asks voters for their approval before funding or allocating land to the YMCA.

The city has not yet allocated any funds to the YMCA project. The City Council in August will consider a proposal to lease a portion of the Park and Ride site to the YMCA for 50 years, with two renewal options for 25 years each.


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