City, YMCA take step to develop park
The city agreed to sell 5 acres of parkland along Parkview Drive to the YMCA for $87,500—the same price it was appraised for last year.
Under the terms of the contract, the YMCA must build a facility on the land within five years of the closing date or the city has the option to buy it back.
The sale was the first step in building a park unveiled in a conceptual plan by Angus-Young Associates in October 2006, said Tom Den Boer, YMCA executive director. The design called for a YMCA building, a skatepark, playgrounds, sports fields and other elements.
The money for the land comes from the organization’s capital endowment fund, Den Boer said.
“In this process, you’ve got to secure the land first in order to build the concept,” he said.
Now, the YMCA will do a needs assessment to find out which aspects of the plan should be implemented and in what order, Den Boer said.
The general concept for a full-scale YMCA, such as the one proposed for Milton, includes a fitness center, gymnasium, day care area, senior center, youth center and aquatic area, he said.
The city and YMCA still are discussing whether the YMCA will lease more land in the 43-acre park for other activities and who will pay for improvements to the property, he said.
The announcement has been a long time coming for the city, officials said.
“It feels like it has been such a long road, having gone from the basic concept a couple years back to where we are today,” Milton Administrator Todd Schmidt wrote in an e-mail to The Janesville Gazette. “But through all of it, the tone of the discussions have been so very positive at all levels.”
Mayor Nate Bruce said the city’s collaboration with the YMCA will benefit the city, the Y and the residents.
“It’s a great way to help complete the park, and we’re very happy the YMCA is part of our community,” he said.
The YMCA doesn’t have a timeline for the project yet, Den Boer said, but Schmidt knows when he wants it done.
“I always say that I wish it was built yesterday,” he wrote. “The services provided by the YMCA, let alone their core mission that focuses on kids, families and communities, will have such a positive impact on northern Rock County.
“I cannot wait to see this project materialize.”