The Westfield City Council held a public hearing for residents to offer input on the council’s consideration of granting $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to the Westfield YMCA.
The YMCA requested the funds at the council’s January meeting. A spokesman for the organization called the YMCA “critical infrastructure” that qualified for ARPA funds. The $5 million request is more than half of Westfield’s allotted ARPA total. YMCA officials said they were unsure if they could raise the funds for the $16 million facility, $6 million of which has been raised to date.
Construction can’t begin until the project is fully funded.
YMCA of Greater Indianapolis President and CEO Gregg Hiland said since the January council meeting, the YMCA board voted to move $3.5 million of its cash resources into the capital funds for the Westfield project, contingent on if the council approved granting the $5 million. The YMCA would still need to raise $2 million, which Hiland said can be completed within 12 months.
Construction could begin in March 2023 and the facility could open in summer 2024 if all the funds are raised.
Five residents spoke during the public hearing. Each supported the council awarding the $5 million to the YMCA. Of the five, three were YMCA employees.
Council member Cindy Spoljaric said if the council does award $5 million to the YMCA, it doesn’t mean the city can’t assist other nonprofits with the remaining ARPA funds.
“Forty-five percent, at least in this ($4.9 million round of ARPA funding), is for nonprofit assistance,” Spoljaric said. “We have the next $4.9 million coming in May. If we did this, it would likely come in our next disbursement, and that money is there to help nonprofits.”
The council said it expects to vote on the matter at the end of this month.
For more, visit westfield.in.gov.