Hillsborough County OKs $2 Million for new YMCA in Gibsonton

08/07/13 Janelle Irwin
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Hillsborough County Commissioners unanimously approved a 30-year lease for the YMCA that includes more than 35 acres of land in Gibsonton. The deal also doles out $2 million to the non-profit group for capital development.

During public comment at the commission meeting Wednesday, three people affiliated with the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, including its director, Tom Looby, urged the board to move forward with the new South County facility.

“We have four public/private partnerships already working here in the county. We have a full service Y on Waters serving kids and families in the Town N’ Country neighborhood. We have built two pools together – one in the north part of the county, one in the east part of the county – we’re teaching kids to swim, we’re keeping them safe. We’ve built a teen center together. So, we’re providing positive out of school time activities for kids. We have an opportunity here to do a fifth partnership together of public/private dollars.”

An Apollo Beach resident, Logan Sultenfuss, who lives and works near the proposed new YMCA told commissioners some businesses in the area may take a hit because of competition as a result of child care services offered by the YMCA. He also criticized the process used to strike a deal with the YMCA.

“February 22, 2012, BOCC agenda signed the land use agreement with the YMCA. Defined funding, reimburse ELAPP for 97-some thousand dollars, there are no financial impacts associated with this agenda item. After the meeting a couple weeks ago, we find out we’re leasing the land to the YMCA for 0 dollars a year for the next thirty years. I ask, what is the actual financial impact of this project?”

The proposed site sits next to Vance Vogel Park. Its expected to be completed by April of 2015 and include an aquatic center, multi-use fields, a basketball court, playground and picnic pavilion.

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