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Calgary councillor pushes City of Calgary to save Eau Claire YMCA

A Calgary councillor is hoping city council can help save the Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA in downtown Calgary.

The facility recently announced that after 30 years in operation it would be closing permanently due to rising costs, a diminishing membership base, extensive capital requirements and challenges in the downtown environment.

Ward 11 Coun. Jeromy Farkas, who announced in September he is running for mayor, is pushing for the City of Calgary to intervene.

Farkas is preparing an urgent notice of motion, to be heard at the March 1 council meeting, that calls for talks with the YMCA to save the rec facility.

“This most recent closure is a wake-up call and a body blow to business confidence in the core,” Farkas said in a Tuesday news release.

Farkas’ motion puts a number of options on the table to save the facility, including profit sharing, parking fee relaxations and joint operations.

Five other YMCA locations in Calgary currently have partnerships with the city, including Crowfoot Rocky Ridge, Seton, Quarry Park, Shawnessy and Saddletowne.

The Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA is owned and operated solely by YMCA Calgary.

“This isn’t just about a building. This is about our community, our economic success, and the future of downtown,” Farkas said. “Council must not allow this downtown death spiral to continue.”

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