Bossier City Council hears a proposal to build a YMCA

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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The YMCA of Northwest Louisiana is looking to build a new facility in Bossier City.

CEO Gary Lash gave a presentation to Bossier City Council Tuesday afternoon overviewing what programs and services the YMCA would bring to the community. Ranging from health classes, to swim lessons, and exercise groups for seniors and people with special needs.

The presentation ended with a standing ovation from the audience.

“I thought it was a great presentation. I like what the Y can bring to our community. I think it’s a great project that could really add a quality of life development to our community,” said Chris Smith, Bossier City Council At Large.

Smith went on to say he’s not a proponent of using tax dollars to build the YMCA and believes the council will work to find “creative” ways to fund it. Including investors and possible private donors.

The YMCA is asking for $35 to 40-million in tax dollars to construct the facility. But Lash said once it’s built, the YMCA pays for all other costs including operational and maintenance. He told the council the investment would pay off in economic impact by offering various sporting events.

“It’s going to be a great facility. It’s going to bring all demographics in to serve all the people in Bossier,” Lash said.

“There now spending $14-million dollars at Tinsley building ball fields with tax dollars. The tennis center was built and it’s a great success with tax dollars. Ruston, Monroe, Vicksburg, and Broussard are all building these type facilities with tax dollars to serve the people because of the economic impact it draws into the city like a public works program. If you build a street, there’s a few houses on it but they don’t bring the economic impact as these type of facilities. Plus serve the citizens everyday,” Lash said.

The council will discuss the YMCA proposal at two more meetings and allow the public to weigh in before they vote on it.

The facility would be built in North Bossier City near Brownlee Park.

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