Town of Amherst, Cumberland YMCA sign five-year funding agreement

A five-year funding agreement that will see the Town of Amherst provide an annual $100,000 grant to the Cumberland YMCA was signed by the two parties on Oct. 12.

“The Cumberland YMCA is an integral part of this community,” Mayor David Kogon said, prior to signing the agreement. “The programs they offer our citizens are top-notch and play an important role in helping council meet its goal of Amherst being among the most active, fit communities in Nova Scotia.

“Council believes this agreement will help to ensure the YMCA can continue to play the important role it does within this community well into the future.”

YMCA CEO Trina Clarke lauded the support the YMCA has received from the town since it opened in 1989.YMCA 2 B

“Much of the support has been in-kind services,” Clarke said. “Amherst has not received the recognition it deserves for ensuring the YMCA remains a key contributor to a healthy and vibrant community for all citizens.”

The YMCA sees the new agreement “as a testament to the strong relationship we have developed with the Town of Amherst council and staff, and of the trust that has been built over the last several years,” she said.

Having the ability to pay for its own services and having the town providing support in the form of funding enables the YMCA to “look at cost saving measures that will ensure that we are operating at the greatest efficiency possible,” Clarke added. “Our thanks to the council for taking this step forward in a new and better way of working together for the benefit of the community.”

The agreement includes clauses that enable the parties to negotiate an extension or a different agreement prior to the conclusion of the new accord and ensures a seat on the YMCA board of directors for a member of council. It also includes an anti-inflation clause that will see the grant amount adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index.

The new deal replaces a previous one in which the town provided in-kind services including solid waste collection, water rate absorption and accounting services as well as reimbursement of operating costs related to the swimming pool. The value of those in-kind services had an estimated fair market value of just under $100,000.

The agreement does not affect the more than $50,000 the town provides to the YMCA to subsidize swimming programs and several designated free public swims.