Survey says: There's definite interest in community center

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Survey says ... there's probably no family feud here as an online survey gauging local interest in the creation of a community center is well under way.

Not only have positive indications emerged since the survey began online June 15 but the response, city officials report, has already exceeded expectations.

While national YMCA officials were hoping to get 400 people to go online locally and express their opinions and desires concerning a possible community center run by the YMCA in Greencastle, that desired figure was eclipsed the first day the survey hit the web.

The YMCA survey -- an online effort available through July 13 -- will gauge local residents' interest and support in a community center operated by the Wabash Valley YMCA and solicit what amenities residents would most like to see as part of that long-sought facility.

The respondents' demographics are interesting, Mayor Sue Murray told the Greencastle Redevelopment Commission.

The respondents are mainly ages 33-56, she said. Quite likely many of those are parents of school-age children.

And those responding, the mayor noted, have indicated the "opportunities a 'Y' presents are extremely important and not being done currently in our community."

Through June 24, a reported 586 persons had completed the online survey.

Area residents can still access the YMCA survey -- the online survey link is:

Meanwhile, the YMCA is reportedly doing a site analysis of the Greencastle area at present, the mayor added, noting that no site (not even Big Walnut Sports Park) has been picked for the potential project.

Once the online survey closes June 13, the next step will be two community meetings, tentatively slated for Aug. 19-20.

One of those sessions will be a community discussion group, while the other will be a community leadership forum, it was noted.

The community center possibility is tied to continuation of the City of Greencastle TIF (Tax Increment Financing) District. The community center is the project of choice for which the city would bond and pay off by using the captured incremental proceeds of the TIF District. A back-up plan if the community center/YMCA isn't deemed feasible is to bond for infrastructure work necessary for the reconstruction of Indianapolis Road east of the Kroger stoplight.

Having either project in place would extend the life of the city's TIF District through June 30, 2040, instead of allowing it to expire in 2025.

Regardless of the project of choice, the plan is still to move forward in two phases with the bond effort.

The first bond issue, expected to be less than $500,000 when it closed late last week, is set to fund architectural drawings and preliminary site work, whether the project choice is a community center or an Indianapolis Road upgrade.

The second, larger bond issue would fund construction of either a community center or the road improvements.

Regardless, the deadline was June 30 to extend the life of the TIF district, established on the city's East Side in 1992.

That's because a new law taking effect July 1 requires all legacy TIF districts established prior to 1995 to expire June 30, 2025, unless they are repaying bonds that have been issued before July 1, 2015.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: