YMCA Facility Closes

By: Amanda Price Email
By: Amanda Price Email

The YMCA in Laurel County is closed after officials say the bills kept piling up and they couldn't afford to keep the doors open anymore.

“I had no reason to believe they were going to close and when I heard it was a surprise alright, certainly I hated to hear it,” Fred Christian said.

The news came as a shock to Christian who makes regular exercise a part of his life.

“Of course I've always had a walking program but then I got hit by on my motorcycle in 1992 among other broken items my hip was broken,” Christian said.

Christian says he started going to the YMCA's gym in 2000.

But three years later, another set back.

“In 2003 I had open heart surgery, and then I really started exercising and that's what keeps me going,” Christian said.

Christian's YMCA visits are over at least for now.

“The bills kept going up, minimum wage didn't help. Building insurance went up, unemployment taxes went up. Everything was going up and I can’t pass that on to the members,” Don Burgin, YMCA Director said.

It costs about $10,000 a month to run the Y, six thousand going to Utilities alone.

Burgin says fewer people are coming in and fees are needed to pay about half the bills.

Burgin says he's reaching out to local centers and churches to raise the 25 to 50 thousand dollars need to run the YMCA the rest of the year. He's hoping to find out in the next week if that will be possible.

“So I think they're out there. I think a miracle's out there. I'm very optimistic cause the Y's a good organization. We've been around since 1851 , we've been right here since 1998 and we do a lot of good,” Burgin said.

Fred Christian and others hope that miracle will happen too.

The director says the summer camp and preschool activities are not affected and will remain open.

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