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Negotiations Continue Between Village, Park District and YMCA

The Central Lake YMCA in Vernon Hills is set to close Oct. 31.

The Village of Vernon Hills and the Vernon Hills Park District boards agreed late Thursday night to continue negotiating with the Lake County Family YMCA on the possible purchase of the organization's Vernon Hills facility.

After about two and a half hours of closed session discussions, the village and park district boards both voted unanimously to "collectively … continue to negotiate in good faith with the YMCA and their bank," said Mayor Roger Byrne.

Hal Katz, interim CEO for the Lake County Family YMCA, said he will now relay this latest information to his board and the bank in an attempt to reach an agreement.

"We know time is running short and we need to keep things moving at a quick pace," said Katz. "Time's getting so critical."

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The reason for the Oct. 31 closure, as stated in a press released on the Lake County Family YMCA website, is "due to insufficient financial resources to sustain operations on a long-term basis."

At a special meeting between the village and park district boards Oct. 23, the two parties agreed to draft a joint letter of intent that included an offer of $1.4 million for the Central Lake YMCA facility, located at 700 Lakeview Pkwy. in Vernon Hills. The boards' offer was contingent on certain conditions, including inspections and studies.

After the closed-session discussions Thursday night, Byrne provided an extensive statement about the continuing negotiations.

"We still feel very strongly that we want the facility to stay open—operating and operating as long as possible, or as long as there is the need," said Byrne. "Obviously, the daycare component is very important to the parents in this community. Hopefully we can get (the daycare) up to where the true capacity is and also continue some of the programs, if not all of them, that are available now.

"The park district … they've gone through a pretty extensive evaluation so far on the operating expenses and liabilities associated with taking this on, the revenue streams, and any expense of retaining the staff," he added.

"As a park district, we're looking forward to continuing negotiations with the YMCA," said Park Board President David Doerhoefer.

Katz said the planned Oct. 31 closure is contingent on those negotiations. If the village and park district don't buy the Central Lake YMCA, the building would be put up for sale.

Are you in favor of the village purchasing the Central Lake YMCA facility? Tell us in the comment section!

A October 26, 2012 at 01:32 PM
As a resident of VH as well as family member of Y, I believe the village and Park District are doing the right thing trying to take over the Y in VH. RIGTH THING always takes extra efforts to be done, but this is what the village and PD are for.
Mary Thon October 26, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I have been a member of the YMCA for over 10 years. It is a part of my routine to stay healthy and happy. It really is a family at the Y and I enjoy seeing all my family on a daily basis. The Y does so much more than just keep us fit. The community of Vernon Hills really has a wonderful facility and it would be a great loss to see it go. I really think that VH is on the right track and this would be a good investment. Just need to have a good management team to keep things running well.
Korrina Grom October 26, 2012 at 05:49 PM
A reader shared this comment on the Vernon Hills Patch Facebook page: "I think this is smart move by VH and I hope it works out!"
Donna Gaidamak October 26, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Where is the $1.4 million coming from?
Korrina Grom October 26, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Hi DG, The village is looking at using reserve funds to pay for the facility.

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