Mason City Family YMCA asking city, county to make contributions to stabilize cash reserves

MASON CITY — The Mason City Family YMCA is asking the City of Mason City and Cerro Gordo County to each contribute $150,000 over a three-year period as part of a fundraising effort for the organization.

MercyOne North Iowa’s partnership with the YMCA will be coming to an end after the debt on the building is paid off in 18 months, but there will be about $41,000 in money due in the near future as part of a roof project, drawing down the YMCA’s cash reserves.

CEO Tammy Hertzel says once that all debts are cleared, she believes the organization can move forward and be self-sustainable.  “I think without the debt that we can be sustainable. I think that’s very possible if we add the right kind of programming, and if we re-invest where the community needs us, I think we’re going to have to probably look at getting into child care, mostly because it’s a community need, not because it’s a huge money maker, but I think that will help add to our sustainability as well. I’ve been poking at that and working with different groups.”

Hertzel admits that cash reserves are down due to the organization not being run efficiently in the past.   “We’ve been burning through cash for years and there’s just no cash left.” Supervisor Chris Watts asked if that was because of anything in particular. She replied, “I would like to say it was repairs, but I just spent a large amount of money catching up for things that hadn’t been done for years.” Supervisor Casey Callanan added, “Probably some mismanagement, good, bad or indifferent, because this conversation has been going on behind the scenes for a long time.” Hertzel added, “This is being very, very transparent with where we are at.”

Hertzel says membership numbers are up by 13% in the last year with about 3800 members, but she says it’s the programs being offered now and in the future that will drive revenue.  “It’s things like bringing in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, which we have planned for the end of the year. It is things like having a big fundraising where someone is going to run for 24 hours. It’s just more and more of that stuff where we’re actually intentionally bringing in a program that’s going to turn revenue and net us some positives.”

Hertzel made her comments to the Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors earlier today during a work session, with the supervisors taking the proposal under advisement.