So, where’s that $3,200,000 YMCA at in Caroline County?

Short Answer:

It’s been put on hold “indefinitely”.

Long Answer:

Way back in 2005, the Caroline County Board of Supervisors, in their infinite wisdom, decided to spend $3,200,000 — $2,800,000 of which were proffers — to build a YMCA at Ladysmith.

The vote was 3-1, according to The Free Lance–Star, with Maxie Rozell dissenting (no idea who was absent or abstained). Rozell wanted to verify first that “the county [would] have enough proffer money to pay for new schools, roads, and fire and police stations, before considering the YMCA.” Rozell objected to the location of the YMCA, as well.

Schools, road, fire and police stations? Nah, can’t have those!

At the time of the approval of the YMCA in Caroline County, it was stated that the Caroline County YMCA should be opened around the same time as the King George County YMCA.

The King George YMCA is currently slated to open in September. Meanwhile, the Caroline County YMCA hasn’t even broken ground.

According to Percy Ashcraft, the Caroline County YMCA has been put on hold “indefinitely”.

So, right now the county has been sitting on $3,200,000 for three years. As Joey Schiebel pointed out while discussing the proposed expansion to the wastewater treatment plant, building costs suffer around a 5% inflation every year.

In three year period from 2005 to 2008, that means the county has lost around $504,400; that means that the YMCA is going to cost more or the project will have to be smaller than was originally proposed.

So, not only is the county sitting on $3,200,000, but they also are considering borrowing $4,500,000 to expand the county park in Milford. Percy Ashcraft noted at one of the Board of Supervisors meetings earlier this year that the county was almost at their established maximum ceiling for borrowing.

Not only that, but the county will see their debt increase in the coming years since they opted to set up interest-only payments for the first couple years on several projects. I guess the county is another “victim” of “predatory” lending.

Percy Ashcraft himself has said if there is any more borrowing by the county, the tax rate will have to go up.

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