I've been following the YMCA debate for some time now. I've read opinions from both sides of the fence, but I just keep finding myself asking why this town wouldn't want the YMCA?
Why wouldn't we want more opportunities to get our kids away from the TV, computer, and video games and away from opportunities to get involved with drugs? Even those without children should agree that anything we can do to keep our youth active and out of trouble benefits the entire community.
I've heard the pool may not open next summer with the current budget restrictions. If the town cannot afford to keep the existing pool in operation, the beautiful Rumsey Park will end up with a deteriorating eyesore surrounded by unused parking space.
Why not avoid this and have a beautiful facility built in its place that adds to the recreational opportunities for our community, adds value to the use of the land, costs us nothing to build and puts money back into our town budget?
We certainly can't afford to build something like this on our own, so I am hopeful the town will seize this opportunity and the residents of Payson will embrace it with excitement for all the opportunities and jobs the YMCA can bring.
I also wonder how many of those who oppose the YMCA have actually visited an existing YMCA facility to see what they can offer our community.
I would like to encourage readers of the Payson Roundup to go to the valleyymca.org Web site and look at offerings and virtual tours of some of the YMCA facilities in the Valley. The facilities are beautiful, and they offer camps, aquatic programs (including year-round competitive swim teams), the Silver Sneakers program for active older adults, programs for preschool-age children, educational classes, and impressive exercise facilities.
I would be excited to see the YMCA build a new facility with so many new opportunities for Payson residents of all ages.