Russell: YMCA to Secure Right to Lease Land, Plans Improvements

May 11, 2009

Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (D-Theresa) announced the Assembly passed legislation she sponsored allowing the Watertown Family YMCA to lease for 25 years from the city of Watertown, five acres of the land on which the facility sits (A.6320). The YMCA occupies the former Ultimate Goal indoor soccer facility located at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds and plans to make capital improvements to the facility.

“This is a win for the community and a win for the YMCA which will be on track to update and outfit the building so it will continue to benefit and enrich our community for years to come,” Assemblywoman Russell said.

“All of us at the YMCA are thrilled about this development,” said Peter W. Schmitt, chief executive officer of the Watertown Family YMCA. “We want to thank Assemblywoman Russell for helping to pass this legislation in the Assembly, and we look forward to purchasing the building and getting improvements underway so we can better serve the growing number of families using our facilities.”

“The YMCA thanks Assemblywoman Russell for her tremendous effort to ensure that health and wellness programs will be available to the citizens of Watertown through the YMCA,” said Kyle A. Stewart, executive director of YMCAs of New York State Inc. “The Watertown YMCA will now be able to enhance their programs to build strong kids, strong families and a strong community.”

Once the legislation is signed by Governor David Paterson, the YMCA will purchase the building from the Watertown Savings Bank for $1.7 million. The Senate passed a similar bill in March.

“More than 1,500 children are involved in soccer, lacrosse and dance programs at the Watertown YMCA. It is always important that children take part in character-building activities like these, but it is especially important now, in these tough economic times, because these experiences provide affordable forms of healthful, quality entertainment,” Assemblywoman Russell said.

In addition, net proceeds from the lease of the lands will be used by the city of Watertown to purchase additional park land or to make improvements to existing parks or recreational areas in the city.