Your thoughts on the YMCA's finances
Most readers say Langford should pay, but with conditions
Last week we asked what you thought about the YMCA’s ask for another $950,000 a year from Langford taxpayers. Most of you said Langford should pay—with caveats. Here’s what you had to say.
Should Langford double its annual funding to $1.9 million? (up from $950,000)
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 Yes (122)
🟨🟨🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️ No (65)
🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ I have another idea (21)
It should be managed as a city service like Westshore Parks & Recreation
Time for the City to buy out Y and keep the building. If the City is paying for it then they might as well own the building and this way at least they would have something to show for it. Far cheaper to operate it as a public facility over its lifespan.
Westshore Parks and Rec should take it over.
[Yes] for 2023 to save it, but plan on buying the facility. The Y business model is not working in Langford; it should be part of Westshore Parks and Rec.
Have this facility managed by Westshore Parks and Recreation. Make it available to all of the Westshore, and have all of them pay into these facilities. Why have two competing facilities and pay the extra money, when it can be put to better use between these two facilities? Take a page from Saanich and how they manage their multiple facilities.
I don't think Langford should be doubling its funding. What the area really needs is another community recreation centre, like Westshore Parks & Rec, that doesn't require a pricey annual membership to access services. This would expand availability of programming that is oversubscribed at Westshore (like swimming lessons) in a more equitable and inclusive way. My family lives very close to that YMCA facility, and we would absolutely enroll our kids in swimming lessons and other activities there, if it were an option. Maybe even an opportunity to create another out of school care program?
They should buy the facility instead of paying Westhills rent
This should never have been an issue because the city should have owned it in the first place instead of the typical Stew Young special where he tried to privatize a community benefit and that plan has clearly failed.
No, they have other management problems
I used to be a member of the YM/YW and always told staff how great certain pilates and aquafit instructors were. Several requests were made to increase their class numbers, but they did not respond nor were they receptive to suggestions. My comments to frontline and management Y staff seemed to fall on deaf ears. Then the Y lost these instructors to Juan de Fuca, where I have followed them, and I know others who did too. The Y has a problem for sure: it is about how they relate to members. Increased funding is not going to change that.
If YMCA can't make the facility profitable they should sell it to someone who will. I am also curious about what the yearly salaries are for the President, VP, etc. I sure hope they aren't taking huge paychecks while the taxpayers bail them out.
This should be a user pay! More funds could be raised through businesses that benefit from it staying open. Are there areas within that facility that can be sublet? This whole fiasco sounds of massive mismanagement
My experience at that facility is that is not well managed. I have yet to arrive when the gorgeous facility was operational at capacity and all the staff were there to allow the water slides and pools to be used by the guests. This facility is expensive to attend and is never fully available during the day to the public. Why is this? Management decisions do not prioritize the guest experience. Imagine travelling there with 3 kids and only one pool is available for use. Never the water slides.
No, they should drop membership fees & drop-in rates
I can barely afford to cover the monthly passes to use these services, and know many are in my situation. So if they need more people to become members they need to lower the fees. As for funding with the new budget I would hope that there should be some kind of funding/tax forgiveness, something since they fall into health and wellness, and social resources for the public. Another government pocket should be able to fund as well with the appropriate funding grants. If not, yes of course the funding needs to go up as inflation is sucking everyone's finances dry, and with such high membership fees, no one will use the facilities.
I think they need to lower their membership fees and allow drop-ins again. They charge way too much! I’m sure more people would go and in the long run would be further ahead.The fact that it is losing money in itself is not grounds for an increase of this size. What needs to be demonstrated is that the Y serves a wide section of the community and that the losses can be contained in the near future.
It's already cost prohibitive to go there. Figure out a better way to run the business!
The drop in cost is too expensive. And there is already a functioning recreational centre nearby in Colwood.
We were members for the first 2 years and their rates went up so high we quit going. Maybe if they lowered their rates, more families and individuals would join. Also pickleball is a big thing now. They could easily convert some of their space and put in pickleball courts. Check JDF; the courts are always full.
The YMCA should allow drop-in fees instead of membership. I work at Westhills and would like to use the YMCA's facilities but since l already pay for a regional membership for ALL the public recreation centres, l don't want to pay double to go to the YMCA. That way l could use the Y and public recreation together. We like the YMCA but we're not going to use the Y exclusively. Public recreation is cheaper and delivers more for the money.
Open the Y to the General Public as the JDF pool does. I’d take my grandchildren there as I’m sure many others would. I don’t feel a membership should be required especially since I’m subsidizing it with my tax dollars
As the Y also serves a large portion of Colwood they should ask Colwood to help share in the funding. The Y membership fees should also be adjusted downward to match JDF's fees in order to be competitive and attract more clients. Langford should continue with $950,000 for funding, while encouraging Westhills corporation to renegotiate the Y's yearly rent. West Hills needs to recognize they will lose the revenue from their purpose built facility if the Y closes due to operating costs.
No, because I don’t want more taxes
My taxes should not increase to keep a facility open that I do not use.
No, because it comes out of my taxes but yet I cannot even go there without becoming a member (and paying even more) and apparently they have decreased their services since covid and not brought them back. I would prefer the facility become part of Westshore Parks and Rec and be able to drop in for service.
Increase the facility access charge to better cover actual costs, especially for residents of the other municipalities. Langford homeowners that chose to not use the facility should not have to pay for it.
Is there a way to advertise to Langford residents what is available at the Y and why we should be taking advantage of their resources. I'd hate to lose it but I don't support our tax dollars being stretched to accommodate a 100% increase in the facility funding.
No, it was a bad plan from the start
I think the former council should have some explaining to do
These people get enough money from other sources, but not the privateers. Like private gym owners. We lost so much business to them…..let them shut down
They plugged a gym into a gym rich neighbourhood and can’t make a profit because the membership rates are ridiculously too high for a funded facility!
Yes, it’s an important for health and community
With such a large family's oriented neighbourhood surrounding the facilities Langford has to be on board to support the community with recreational opportunities.
The Y has improved my family's quality of life. I am able to afford the family membership and give my children access to activities that keeps them busy and engaged in sports instead of being stuck with cellphones at home.
Swimming is vital to all. Their programs contribute to health. Every community needs these. Recreation facilities should be requirements for development as part of community infrastructure.
As a society that currently has serious issues with our healthcare system, we should be promoting health, wellness, and disease prevention. Providing extra funding to an organization that does exactly that and provides those services on an affordable basis is one step in the right direction.
A community exercise and pool facility is very important to the health and wellness of all Langford citizens. My neighbour and I love the YWCA.
Preventative medical care. Healthy people = less medical care needed. Busy people = less crime
Langford has grown tremendously in the past 20 years and continues to grow. It seems appropriate that it adequately support the only full service recreation centre in the municipality.
Need it kept open for us old folks
Since our Y at Eagle Creek closed Langford is much better for distance traveled and parking than the downtown Victoria Y.
Langford has increased its population exponentially in the last decade and will continue for at least another decade. The Y provides a wonderful service to the Westshore. I know the CEO and trust his judgment and respect his work ethic. Remember the saying to make money, you need to spend money. I think the new council inherited quite a headache, but I think they are up to the task.
The Health and Fitness of a community is a priority. It is paramount that support is provided to our communities as we recover from the after effects of COVID on our health, the long term co-morbidities and risks of inactivity, such as weight gain, diabetes cardiovascular disease & immobility which will continue to have devastating effects on our healthcare system. We are all in this together and public health doesn’t end with a vaccine. It begins with a strong public health program inclusive of strong community resources, facilities and programs.
The Y is an important community asset. Prices are rising and so should our contribution.
We need recreational facilities in the Westshore. Hopefully they can start up their swimming lesson program and hire the staff to make it happen. As well as other activities.
We need this facility for our growing community. Although I have never used it, I support those that do.
The facility is critical for nurturing the many youth that regularly go through the doors of the YMCA. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a selling incentive for home buyers. Please invest in our youth. Note: I live in East Sooke, I don't use the facilities but I'm 100% behind the request for the financial support they have asked for.
Yes, and membership costs should be reduced
Let’s talk about family, where else can a family go together for one activity or another? With the options available within the Y, maybe their membership can come down, but it offers various activities unlike City Centre Park.
Places like the YMCA offer a public venue for fitness, so the funding should indeed be provided but should come with the caveat that low-income users are eligible for lower membership rates.
I love love love the Y, but would not be able to afford to go if the rates were higher. It's a great way to keep the community happy and healthy! Maybe another funding idea: I would love it if they sold drinks and snacks somewhere. A way to visit with friends after your workout. Is there a room not being used?
Get Westhills to provide rent reductions.
Yes, but temporarily and with accountability
We need this amazing facility in our community and should support it but only after some clear answers on how this happened. We also need to know what changes are being made to make it financially viable going forward.
Yes, as a temporary support. But they need to look into why the facility is loosing money. Do membership fees need to increase? Is the market large enough? Do they need to cut back in areas?
Yes, for the next 5 years. If that doesn’t help then it’s not sustainable.
I would like to have more information to understand what is driving the costs. For example, what the breakdown of costs are, any options to reduce costs, what difference a sliding scale user fee structure could make, opportunities for corporate sponsorship, etc. I will ask the Y for this as i am an interested citizen of Langford and a happy member of the Westhills YMCA
I have answered yes but it is tentative. The structure and amenities are big and expensive to operate and I would hate to loose them. Are there management / outreach projects that could help? I am not sure of the impact this has on other budget items generally and Juan de Fuca specifically. It seems a simple question to a complex problem.
Yes but not in perpetuity. This should be based on contingencies that they meet certain financial targets within 2 years
Yes they should but they should also be accountable for a certain fiscal responsibility which has them plot a plan via sales or other creative uses of the facility by this time next year. So a bailout with 100% accountability for economic feasibility.
Help them for now, but the facility needs to accommodate better hours and prices to attract more people into using the centre. It's just way cheaper and more convenient to go to Juan de Fuca Rec Centre.