YMCA deal gets approval by Poughkeepsie council

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POUGHKEEPSIE – The Poughkeepsie Common Council has voted unanimously to authorize Mayor Rob Rolison to transfer ownership of the former YMCA property to Dutchess County.  If approved by the county legislature, the county will spend up to $25 million to develop a youth and community center on the site.

After hearing from several members of the public, including members of the 35 Montgomery Street Coalition, tasked with developing the plan for the future center, the council members spoke.  While they endorsed the legislation that had been adjusted by Second Ward Councilman Evan Menist, who late last week, added deadlines that the county must meet regarding construction and continued operation, an issue was raised by one lawmaker.  Fourth Ward Councilwoman Sarah Brannen pointed to escalating construction costs that have arisen since the pandemic set in.  Pointing out that the “$25 million is a modest budget” for the project, she encouraged the planners to consider the costs when designing the center.

Menist represents the area where the property is located and was thankful to his colleagues for their support.  He also expressed his desire to move the process forward. “Our city needs a community center where children, families, and seniors can come together to learn, grow, recreate, and thrive as a community.”

Mayor Rob Rolison said, “This has been the goal of our city for many years. I am glad this is moving in the direction that all of the partners have been working towards.”

Rolison’s comments were echoed by Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, who said after the vote, “At a time when too many young people have struggled too hard, thanks to the City of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County – this community – is one step closer to transforming the way we serve our kids. Together, we will fulfill our promise to help all Dutchess County kids along their path to success!”