The YMCA is well ahead of its targets to increase membership at the former Oil Heritage District Community Centre.
The Y took over operation of the Petrolia-owned wellness centre in April as the town looked to reduce the amount of money taxpayers paid to fund the centre. The Y believes it can save the town over $600,000 in five years.
It also said it would increase membership to 773 in the first year of operation. Tracey Taylor, general manager of the Petrolia Y, says membership has “exceeded our goal of 773.” Taylor says there are now 846 members on the books – the Y expected it would take until 2021 to get to that level.
Over the ten years the town ran the centre, membership remained steady around 700. It wasn’t clear at the time the Y took over the facility exactly how many people were members. “We didn’t have a firm membership number,” says Taylor.
Some of the increased membership has come from the town’s own staff – it was part of the deal the Y struck with the town that all employees would become members at the town’s expense.
The Y and town officials celebrated the new partnership Friday with an open house. At that time, the town presented a cheque to the YMCA for its Strong Kids fundraiser. The money for that goes to help pay for memberships for those who cannot afford them.