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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of June 5 - 11, 2002


Major Hailey rec 
center proposed

YMCA agrees to assist launch 
of new facility

Express Staff Writer

A proposed recreation and sports complex estimated to cost $12 million and to be initially managed by the YMCA was unveiled Monday night for the Hailey City Council by a group that said it could attract as many as 5,000 young people.

Although the proposed Y would have offsite outreach programs, the main complex would be located on and around the Hailey rodeo grounds and city-owned parks in the area.

Reamy Goodwin, longtime Wood River High School volleyball coach and 18-year resident of the valley, told the council that the new group, the 5B Y, would make a formal request for use of the city land in the future.

He introduced Jim Abbott, veteran executive of Boiseís YMCA, who outlined the array of Y programs that could be organized at a Hailey facility, covering all age groups and genders and religions "from womb to tomb."

Abbott ticked off a long list of Y activities in Boise, including most sports, a day care center, and programs for seniors. One out of every two youngsters in Ada County, he said, is involved in something managed by the Boise Y.

He said that as a result of initial discussions with Goodwin's group, the Y would agree to manage and operate the proposed Hailey Recreation Center for the first three to five years to get it on its feet.

In response to a questions from Hailey Councilwoman Susan McBryant, Abbott said the YMCA is no longer exclusively young, or exclusively for men, or exclusively Christian.

McBryant also observed that such an ambitious Y program would draw from other recreation activities in the Wood River Valley.

To which Abbott said the Y would not do anything to compete with other organizations.

The only other comparable planned activity in the Wood River Valley is the Janss Center, a proposed multi-use complex in Ketchum, which has been raising funds for about five years and has a tentative agreement with the city of Ketchum to use the park and ride lot at Warm Springs and Saddle roads for its structure if it is built.

Abbott assured the council that the project would not be built first in the hope that members would then sign up. He said a thorough study would be made of the Blaine County market for Y recreation services.

`The 5B Y groupís plans won the endorsement of Mary Ann Mix, Blaine County Commission chairwoman, who appeared as chairman of the trustees of nearby Blaine Manor, whose senior citizens, she said, would benefit from Y programs.

Another member of the group, Gary Carr, pleaded with the council to treat the proposed recreation center with seriousness and urgency when a formal proposal is made.

He said "the future is now," appealing to the council to not delay and postpone action when the Y groups returns with a specific request.

No formal action was requested by the Y group nor taken by the city council.

In other actions, the council:

∑  Re-appointed McBryant to another term on the Friedman Memorial Airport authority.

∑  Passed on second reading the cityís new "dark skies" ordinance, but agreed to review lighting for the new Wood River High School stadium to ensure that it doesnít violate the new law.

∑  Paid $7,241.35 to the Animal Shelter for services between October 2001 and April this year.

∑  Agreed to call for public hearings on how to finance a proposed $2.2 million water storage tank for the city.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.