As vote nears, Waldoboro learns money not available for YMCA

Posted Sept. 05, 2012, at 2:03 p.m.

WALDOBORO, Maine — A scheduled referendum will be held Tuesday despite the town being informed that a $780,000 trust fund it had expected to use to transform the former A.D. Gray School into a YMCA will not be available.

Craig Cooley, chairman of the town’s selectboard, said Wednesday morning that a Key Bank trust officer called Town Manager John Spear on Tuesday to say that two amendments to the trust fund had been overlooked and the money planned to be used could not be used for the YMCA project.

Spear said Wednesday that he was shocked by the late notification and that the amendments had been overlooked by the bank.

“I’m still in shock,” Spear said.

Spear and Cooley stressed, however, that this should not affect the Sept. 11 referendum. He noted that the wording of the article on the special town meeting warrant states that only funds that are available will be used.

Craig Wilson, executive director of the Central Lincoln County YMCA in Damariscotta, said the YMCA remains committed to the project although it realizes that the work will not occur on the same timetable since more money will now have to be raised.

“We’re still 100 percent behind bringing services to Waldoboro,” he said, although he expressed disappointment with the late word about the trust. He said a capital campaign would be held to help pay for the project.

The town only learned about the I. Stan Bailey trust in May when Key Bank informed them that the former Waldoboro resident had left the money to be used for recreational purposes.

The original trust agreement had specified that the principal amount of the trust must remain at a minimum of $500,000 before any surplus or interest could be spent. That agreement, however, was amended in 1999 to increase the minimum principal to $1 million and in 2000 amended to $1.5 million. There currently is about $1.2 million in the fund, Spear said, which means no money can be withdrawn for recreational purposes until interest on the money can build the account up over the $1.5 million mark.

The town had planned to use $780,000 from the fund to redevelop the former brick school located in downtown Waldoboro.

The proposed agreement between the town and the YMCA would have the YMCA lease the building and property, which includes the Philbrook ball field and the tennis courts for five years. At the end of five years, ownership would transfer to the YMCA. If the YMCA were to close the facility in the following five years, the property would revert to the town. After that first 10 years, if the YMCA ceases its operations there, the YMCA would keep the building but the ballfield would revert to the town.

Polls will be open at the town office from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11.

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