The City of Jasper in partnership with the Tri-County YMCA is excited to announce plans to construct a Regional Wellness Center. The new indoor recreation, wellness and aquatic facility will be located on 15th and Bartley Streets adjacent to the Indiana National Guard facility. The City of Jasper and Tri-County YMCA are leading the project in collaboration with stakeholders including the Indiana National Guard and Memorial Hospital The proposed 91,000 sq. ft. Regional Wellness Center will include an 8,000 sq. ft. fitness center, four (4) full-court gymnasiums, 14,000 sq. ft. indoor aquatic center, indoor elevated walking track, four (4) group exercise studios, and five (5) community rooms including a community kitchen. “Our vision extends beyond the facilities and amenities themselves,” commented Mayor Dean Vonderheide. “We imagine a community hub of activity, a gathering space, a destination to meet the health, wellness and recreation needs of our community in one location. Programs and facilities will serve all ages and abilities in our region, from the very youngest to the most senior.”
The total cost of the new indoor facility is estimated to be $37 million. City and YMCA leaders are conducting a major regional capital campaign and working to secure various grant funding opportunities to support the project. These are just several of the components of the project capital plan.
In February, with significant support from the local community, the Common Council unanimously passed Res 2023-2 seeking State authority to establish a 1% Food and Beverage Tax. Having received State approval in April, City Council must now enact local legislation to begin collecting the FAB tax. Currently, thirty-four (34) municipalities or counties in Indiana have adopted a FAB tax. If passed, the Food and Beverage Tax would become effective in January 2024 and would be designated specifically to support the project AND minimize property tax impact of the project. The City has also identified multiple other funding sources.
The city continues to work with its municipal financial advisors to perform its due diligence in developing the best financial options for the project. To that end, the City will be in a position to provide projected financing models in the coming weeks. Whether this includes a property tax paid bond (approved via a referendum) or a property tax backed bond, the goal will remain to minimize any tax payor impact.