Community Center Steering Committee looks at preliminary financials from YMCA

As promised, Duluth YMCA CEO Chris Francis met with the Cook 
County Community Center Steering Committee on Monday, March 26, 2012 
to present the results of the YMCA’s preliminary look at finances. 
Although there are still a lot of unknowns, Francis said, “When I was
all done with this, it was actually kind of exciting.”
Francis shared a spread-sheet detailing estimated revenue and expenses
for a Cook County YMCA prior to the new facility being built and for 
the first five years of operations
The bottom line, acknowledged Francis, was a “negative number,” 
ranging from a deficit of $71,398 prior to construction of the 
facility to $167,752 in the first year to $153,877 in the fifth year. 
“Although it’s red, I’m confident we can find a way to make it 
work,” he said.
He said the financial picture painted by YMCA did not include any 
government support and was very conservative on potential funding from 
contributions and grants. “I think I was high on expenses and low on 
revenue,” Francis told the steering committee.
Steering committee members asked a lot of questions and expressed 
concern about public reaction at hearing these preliminary numbers. 
Francis reassured them that there were no “red flags.” He said, 
“Looking at these numbers—it’s positive.”
Steering committee members asked a lot of questions and expressed 
concern about public reaction at hearing these preliminary numbers. 
Francis reassured them that there were no “red flags.” He said, 
“Looking at these numbers—it’s positive.”
Maggie Barnard, events director with the Cook County Visitors Bureau, 
agreed that these are “big numbers.” She said, “They are the same 
numbers as a few months ago. They halted this planning—rightly so. We 
couldn’t at that time meet the gap between revenue and operations. 
Now we’ve found a way to move forward with the Y. They have a long 
history of fundraising and operating. This is a very positive move.”
Maggie Barnard, events director with the Cook County Visitors Bureau, 
agreed that these are “big numbers.” She said, “They are the same 
numbers as a few months ago. They halted this planning—rightly so. We 
couldn’t at that time meet the gap between revenue and operations. 
Now we’ve found a way to move forward with the Y. They have a long 
history of fundraising and operating. This is a very positive move.”
The next step, said the YMCA representatives, was a demographic study 
by SEER Analytical, an expense of $2,000, which was previously 
approved by the Cook County commissioners. Francis said the SEER 
Analytical study could take up to 30 days to complete and he believed 
the SEER Analytical study would have similar results as the YMCA study.
A “Community Input Session” will be held 5 – 7 p.m. on April 10 
in the community education gym at ISD 166 to provide information on 
the possibility of attaching the community center to the school and 
the possibility of partnering with the YMCA.