YMCA looks for funding

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 12, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – Alex Promise, chairman of a committee working to establish a YMCA branch in Concordia and Catahoula parishes, plans to ask the Ferriday Town Council once again to contribute $75,000 to the effort.

Promise said Friday that town officials should be willing to allocate the money now that another organization competing for funds, the Boys &&160;Girls Club of the Delta, has disbanded.

With competing groups lobbying for funds, &uot;the mayor (Glen McGlothin) could not make a decision even though he understands the need for something like this,&uot; Promise said. Neither McGlothin nor Town Attorney Anna Brakenridge could be reached for comment.

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Promise, who also serves as administrative assistant for the town, asked the council for the same donation in its May 8 meeting.

But according to an attorney general’s opinion, the town cannot donate public funds to open a YMCA unless funds would be used only for programs for the needy. And the town would need to establish objective criteria to define who is truly &uot;needy.&uot;

It was not question of whether the town supports the effort, Mayor Glen McGlothin said after that meeting.

&uot;It’s a question of whether we can (legally) do it, and whether we have the money to do it,&uot; he said.

McGlothin also said the town is strapped for cash due to the theft of more than $147,000 by two former clerks, and the rising cost of utilities, fuel and chemicals.

When asked about the attorney general’s opinion, Promise said he understands that the allocation &uot;could be done legally through a cooperative endeavor agreement&uot; that spells out specific programs for which money would be used.

In order to establish a branch, the YMCA needs to make sure $150,000 will be available to run it for the first three years.

The board of Recreation District No. 1 has pledged to contribute $75,000 of that amount from a recreation tax voters passed in 1998 – provided the remaining $75,000 is raised from other sources.

Promise said in a Thursday night meeting of the YMCA of Concordia/Catahoula Steering Committee that the group hopes to raise the money by the end of August.