In less than one month, the YMCA of Greater Kansas City will close two branches on the east side of the Metro, in Raytown and Independence.
The YMCA of GKC says that dwindling membership and deferred maintenance costs are to blame.
There might be soaring maintenance costs for the 100-year-old Kansas City, Kansas, facility or the 48-year-old Independence location. But the Raytown YMCA is still a shiny, relatively-new 15-year-old building. How many deferred maintenance costs can it have?
And, while they might see that membership has “dwindled,” having a nearby YMCA facility means a lot to the combined 1,900 current members.
Raytown YMCA also has the only warm-water therapeutic pool with a zero-step entry. This is crucial for those of us who are disabled or have physical challenges and can only exercise in water.
We are being “encouraged” to go to the Cleaver or Linwood YMCA. Why would we drive to areas that have an eight-times higher rate of "crimes against persons" when compared to Raytown?
Most of us, then, will be forced to either change fitness companies or make the 28-mile, round-trip drive to the Blue Springs Family YMCA. This is an undue burden on the elderly and disabled and those with children.
The east-side communities of Kansas City deserve the same accessibility to a YMCA as our more-wealthy downtown bankers and lawyers. Therefore, for the sake of our community, PLEASE keep the Raytown YMCA open.