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YMCA seeks bond refinancing

A public hearing is set for May 18 on debt refinancing for the Minot Family YMCA.

The YMCA asked the Ward County Commission Tuesday to hold a public hearing on its proposal to refinance MIDA bonds at a lower rate and to extend the terms to 30 years. The new interest rate of 2.75% will be significantly below the current 5% rate on the $3.8 million in remaining debt.

The YMCA first acquired MIDA bonds in 1999 when its current facility was built. The bonds are available by working through a government entity, although the entity itself has no liability regarding the debt. Following the hearing, the county will act on whether to approve participation in advancing the YMCA’s bond plans.

“All of the dollars that we are able to save through lowering financing just allows us to give back to the community through the programming that we do,” YMCA Executive Director Roger Mazurek told the commission.

He said the YMCA closed March 15, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and reduced staff from 160 to 20. It did not re-open for 54 days.

“It was like opening a new Y again,” Mazurek said. “It’s been quite an experience, but we found that the YMCA is a place where people can feel that they’re getting back to normal, and we’ve had great response.”

The YMCA has been working since November to find additional strategic partners, working recently with Prairie Grit Adaptive Sports. It also continues to work with Trinity Health.

“Those partnerships just continue to get stronger, and we’re very excited about the future,” Mazurek said. “We had savings set aside that are helping us get through some of those tough times. With this refinancing, we’re going to be able to put a new program into place, and we hope to be introducing that by January of 2022 with a new membership package.”

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