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New YMCA may develop in Ashland

kids jumping
Jacob Fenston
It's not official yet. But still good exercise.

Ashland residents may see a new YMCA -- that's because a committee said it wants to raise $500,000 in the next 5 years to jump start a new branch of the Jefferson City Area YMCA. 

Spokesperson, George Hartsfield, of the Jefferson City Area YMCA, is overseeing the committee’s proposal. He said he wants the public to know the $500,000 isn’t necessarily going to build a new gym just yet.

“There’s a misconception when people say YMCA," Hartsfield said.  "They think we’re going to build a building right away.  And buildings cost millions of dollars so that’s not a short term proposition.”

Hartsfield said the money will be used for operating expenses -- such as staff members and rent over a 5-year period. The committee will look to school and church facilities to rent out space.  Hartsfield said he hopes the YMCA will be operational within the first year.

But not everyone is happy about this proposal. Owner, Andy Miller, of Ashland’s only gym - The Body Zone - said this is simply small businesses versus large corporations. 

“The prime example would be Wal-Mart moving into a new town and putting up a new facility,” Miller said.  “And the smaller businesses you know the small hometown businesses competing against that.”

Miller also said he does not plan to dispute the proposal, and he will respect the people of Ashland’s decision. Miller is already working on a new business plan if the project goes through.