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Monday, July 2, 2018 04:10 pm

City plan calls for $6 million in TIF money for new YMCA

Total project cost pegged at $36 million

 Nearly $6 million in public money would be used to build a new downtown YMCA under an ordinance scheduled to be introduced tomorrow at the Springfield City Council.

The money would come from two tax increment financing funds, one set up to benefit downtown, the other for Enos Park. Val Yazell, city economic development director, said the city hasn’t decided how much of the $5.9 million would come from each fund. “That’s what we don’t know at this particular point,” Yazell said. “There’s still a lot of conversation that has to happen before, really, much can be talked about.”

Yazell said the proposal will go before the city economic development commission, which typically weighs in on TIF projects before council votes, on July 10.

According to the ordinance set to be introduced tomorrow, the proposed building at the intersection of Fourth and Carpenter streets would cost nearly $36 million, including demolition costs. The state Department of Natural Resources has said the existing building at the intersection of Cook and Fourth streets should not be torn down because it has architectural merit and could be repurposed. The state also says that the existing building has historic significance, in part because Barack Obama played basketball there while a state senator.

Memorial Medical Center has committed to paying $9 million for the project. Assuming that TIF funding is approved, that would leave a gap of approximately $22 million. Yazell said she believes the YMCA would have to cover much of that with fundraising.

Angie Sowle, YMCA chief executive officer, could not be reached for comment.

Contact Bruce Rushton at brushton@illinoistimes.com.



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