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Officials meet to discuss possibility of local YMCA

NATCHEZ — The dream of a Natchez YMCA could be closer to being a reality.

Tate Hobdy, chairman of the Natchez Adams County Recreation Commission, recently met with a representative from the YMCA headquarters in Jackson to discuss plans for establishing a YMCA in Natchez.

During the meeting, Hobdy presented several ideas for what a local YMCA would look like, which included offering wellness programs, several after-school outlets for area youth and a possible community swimming pool.

YMCA amenities, Hobdy said, would be housed in city buildings. No new facility would be constructed.

Pat Lovitt, operations officer for the Jackson YMCA, said plans are still in the preliminary stage.

“We’re exploring the options with Tate and the recreation commission to see if there is something the Y could do to facilitate a recreation program in the Natchez area,” Lovitt said. “There is no hard timeline on this yet, though.”

Lovitt said this was the first time he had seen any kind of preliminary plan for a Natchez YMCA.

“Everything is very, very early,” Lovitt said. “We just wanted to gather information and bring our board of directors up to speed with what Natchez has in mind and how we could help that process.”

If any plans are approved and YMCA programs come to the area, Hobdy said no changes would be made to the recreation commission.

The commission, he said, would simply oversee all YMCA activities.

“We would oversee the YMCA to make sure they would be doing things in the best interest for Natchez and the county,” said Hobdy, adding that the Natchez YMCA branch would be an extension of the Jackson YMCA.

Adams County Supervisor Mike Lazarus said although no plans have been set in stone, the future for a Natchez YMCA looks bright.

“I think things are looking pretty good,” Lazarus said. “It’s kind of in the hands of the YMCA folks now, whether or not plans will move forward.”

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