After I read this story, I felt I needed to elaborate. I hope you will publish my comments.
History previously, citizens such as Leota Musgrave and Deborah Turner worked with a local pharmacist to raise funds for a community center near the current city hall and Allan Yorke Park. Dances and teen nights were held at the senior center in hopes of finding things for youth to do. That did not pan out.
In 2004 a handful of citizens ran a campaign to pass Proposition 1 for parks and trails in Bonney Lake. That proposition required a 60 percent majority and failed with a yes vote of 52.3 percent. So, even though a majority of the voters said yes, by state law, it failed. Proposition 2 ran on the same ballot was for a community center (not a YMCA), which also required the 60 percent super majority. It failed with a 44.98 percent; not even close to 50 percent.
I was appointed to the park board in January 2006. I joined fellow park board member Brian Cebe and Community Services Director Gary Leaf to make a presentation to the Pierce County Park Board on October 17, 2006, where we were included on their agenda regarding the 80 acre park planning for Buckley/Bonney Lake in the area of Plateau 465.
We proposed an aquatic center and YMCA on the Bonney Lake/Buckley Plateau. Subsequent e-mails were exchanged with Kathy Kravit-Smith and Gary Leaf stating that is the direction that Bonney Lake thought best.
My first tour of the Gig Harbor YMCA was with fellow park board members Leota Musgrave and Carol Ujick while the Gig Harbor YMCA was under construction in 2007. Mr. Ecklund gave us the tour.
Upon joining the Bonney Lake City Council in January 2008, I again took a tour of the completed Gig Harbor YMCA with fellow council members on a Saturday field trip.
So, you can see that Bonney Lake made a decision years ago at the citizen, park board, city council and executive branch levels that a YMCA was the way to go. To that end, during the 2009 negotiations for the development agreement with Quadrant and WSU land was set aside for a YMCA/community center in addition to the parks and trails.
The WSU forest is now known as Midtown Park, is open and can be accessed at the trailhead between Fred Meyer and the Regal Cinema. Surveys have established YMCA is the choice.
Programs and Cost Comparisons According to a March 03 2011 Courier Herald article, the Sumner High School pool offers: Lap swim costs $40 per monthly session, with 12 dates per season. Six lanes will be open from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Saturdays will have two lap swim sessions: three lanes will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and six lanes will be open from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Weekly group training costs $50. Eight years-and-older classes last 45 minutes and take place on Saturdays at 9 a.m., 9:50 a.m. and 10:40 a.m. Eight-years-and-under classes last 30 minutes and take place Saturdays at 9 a.m., 9:35 a.m., 10:10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Private lessons are all ages, cost $75, and last 30 minutes per day. They will take place Saturdays at 10:45 a.m., 11:20 a.m. and 11:55 a.m.
From the YMCA website, youth 14 years and under are $33/month, young adults (15-29 years old) $38/month.
Financial assistance is provided to individuals, kids and families on a need basis and allows access to all programs, activities, facilities at the YMCA. Mel Korum and Gig Harbor teen late night is for grades 9-12 and it is free to all, no membership required. Gig Harbor also has a similar program for grades 678, also free, no membership required.
As you can see, the prices are comparable between the two for swimming at either facility; there are programs open to non-members at the YMCA.
According to a recent Patch article, currently, the Sumner/Bonney Lake Pool and Rec Programs have a budget of $82,000, with $23,500 coming from the City of Sumner, $33,500 coming from the City of Bonney Lake and $25,000 from the school district. Bonney Lake has indicated it will continue to support this program, even with the addition of a YMCA in Bonney Lake.
Yes We Need a Couple of Compatible YMCAs in East Pierce County,
Probably the biggest barrier between Sumner and Bonney Lake is a very steep hill with a highway with 55 mph speeds and no sidewalks known as Elhi Hill. With the reduction of bus service, high gas prices, how will our youth in Bonney Lake get to a YMCA in Orton Junction without parents like Breeze Wetzel shuttling them up and down the hill? That hill is a huge barrier between the plateau and valley.
Two of Sumner’s neighbors already have YMCAs, Auburn and Puyallup. So, that argument doesn’t seem to hold water, unlike a pool we hope to get in a Bonney Lake YMCA.
Being a city on a lake, swimming lessons are a must to keep everyone safe. The bottom line is, youth, families and senior citizens in East Pierce County need the services one or two YMCAs can provide in a manner that is more economical than either city or the school district can take on during these budget times.
For the price of a latte each month, each city could offer services they do not currently have if a bond is passed to finance these needed facilities. Donations are accepted -- I know Sumner is well underway on their fundraising.
To support A Bonney Lake YMCA fund, send a contribution to the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap counties and be sure to make a note stating “restrict to fund for Bonney Lake YMCA.”
Checks can be made payable to YMCA and sent to 1614 S. Mildred St., Suite 1, Tacoma, 98465.