YMCA gets $1.5 million pledge
Land lease from city still pending
By GREGORY FOLEY
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
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.