In order to allow for public input on the proposed deal to have the YMCA take over operations of the Niles Family Fitness Center, the final vote has been postponed until September 8. The Village will give a presentation on the proposed deal at 6:00 P.M. on August 25, prior to the regularly scheduled Village Board meeting. While public comments on the topic will be accepted at the August 25 meetings, members are encouraged to bring their comments to a dedicated hearing on September 1 (more information below).
August 25 meetings: Informal Consideration Presentation at 6:00 P.M. (including public comment opportunity); Village Board Regular Meeting at 7:00 P.M. (including public comment opportunity).
- Members of the public who DO NOT intend to comment during the meetings but would like to watch them live should watch on Niles TV or at www.vniles.com/NTV.
- Members of the public who DO intend to comment live during public comment sections of the meeting can participate via Zoom or by phone. Members of the public may virtually "raise their hand" to speak using the button in the online Zoom interface, or by dialing *9 on their phone once in the meeting. They will be called upon during public comment period. Join the Zoom "webinar" (the Board meeting) through the following options:
September meetings: Public hearing on September 1 at 6:00 P.M.; Special Meeting for final Board vote on September 8 at 6:00 P.M.
The Village has set a public hearing for September 1 at 6:00 P.M., and is inviting the community to submit feedback to the Mayor of Niles and its Board ahead of the hearing or to attend the public hearing. The Board of Trustees will cast the final vote at a special meeting on September 8 at 6:00 P.M. All of these meetings and hearings are being held virtually via Zoom, and can be viewed live by the public on Niles TV or at www.vniles.com/NTV. Those wishing to comment during designated public comment opportunities should go to www.vniles.com/zoom at the time of the meeting.
The following is the full press release from the Village of Niles and the YMCA of Metro Chicago regarding the proposed deal and meetings.
NILES, IL – The Village of Niles staff will give a presentation to its Board of Trustees Tuesday evening (August 25) that proposes the transfer of operations and management of its Niles Family Fitness Center (NFFC) to the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. The proposed 15-year lease agreement would be effective October 1, 2020 and would ensure that local families would continue to have access to high-quality family services at the NFFC facility located at 987 Civic Center Drive.
The presentation will take place prior to the regularly scheduled Village Board meeting. In order to allow more time for public input, the Village is postponing the final vote on the proposal originally scheduled for August 25. The Village has set a public hearing for September 1, and is inviting the community to submit feedback. Those wishing to comment during the designated public comments period can go to www.vniles.com/zoom at the time of the meeting. The Board of Trustees will cast the final vote during the week of September 8. All meetings and hearings will be held virtually via Zoom, and can be viewed live by the public on Niles TV or at www.vniles.com/NTV.
“The Village and the YMCA are united in our commitment to families,” said Andrew Przybylo, Mayor, Village of Niles. “We believe that the partnership with the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago is the best direction for us to take at this moment in time. It means that local families will have access to even more excellent family programming, provided by a trusted and well-established community organization that understands the needs of modern families. I am confident that this alliance will bring great value to the residents of Niles and the community as a whole, and both organizations are committed to a smooth transfer of services.”
“Ever since we made the difficult decision to permanently close the Leaning Tower YMCA at the end of May, we have been exploring other ways that will allow us to remain in a community that we have served for 60 years,” said Richard Malone, President and CEO, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. “We are delighted to have this opportunity to continue serving Niles’ residents. We look forward to using our expertise in family recreation and fitness programming to build off and strengthen what the Village of Niles has already established to have an even greater impact on the community.”
The Y offers more than a place for people to work out. It is a community and a family, a sentiment that is encouraged every day at its centers. For many, the centers provide a welcome space for members, program participants, and neighbors to meet and develop friendships. The Y is a network of centers that help strengthen communities and has become known as a reliable resource for parents who rely on the Y’s support to help raise caring, honest, respectful, and responsible children. Its rich programming helps kids create positive identity, develop transferable life skills, instill healthy habits, build career readiness, nurture potential, and develop character. These are woven into every program that the Y offers – from summer camp, after school care, and enrichment classes to swimming and sports.
The Y also provides financial assistance to families based on need. This is driven by the firm belief that a child or family should never be denied access to its programs because of an inability to pay. In 2019, over $70,000 in Y Scholarship Funds were used at the Leaning Tower YMCA alone to enable 855 individuals, including youth and adults, to participate in Y programs that they otherwise would not have been able to afford.
The Y is able to offer the scholarship program due to its nonprofit status and its ability to fundraise, which it intends to continue. It will continue its commitment that any fundraising conducted in Niles will assist Niles residents. The Y’s work attracts hundreds of generous volunteers every year, wishing to contribute their time to the community. In 2019 alone, 65 community members volunteered a total of 1,428 hours to benefit the Leaning Tower Y community – a testament to the dedication of Y supporters.
If approved by the Board of Trustees, the agreement would not include the adjacent Senior Center or Family Services Department, which the Village would retain and continue to manage.
In addition to offering new memberships, the agreement would see the YMCA honor all existing NFFC memberships through their expiration date. Future membership information will be available soon at ymcachicago.org or by calling the YMCA Member Services line at 773-905-5115.
Both organizations would work together to transition the facility’s operations smoothly, and the building would remain open as the Niles Family Fitness Center through September 30, 2020. It would be closed for the first few weeks in October to undergo moderate renovations before reopening as the YMCA of Niles in late October, 2020, providing it is safe to do so according to public health authorities.
About the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago
The YMCA of Metro Chicago is an association of 14 Y centers, five overnight camps, and dozens of extension sites located in the city and across the suburbs. We serve more than 200,000 members annually and help children, families, and communities learn, grow, and thrive through programs that promote academic readiness, character development, violence prevention, and fitness and healthy living. Our impact is felt every day when an individual makes a healthy choice, when a mentor inspires a child, and when a community comes together for the common good. Learn about how the Y is working for a better us at ymcachicago.org
About the Village of Niles
The Village of Niles is proudly built upon friendly, multi-cultural neighborhoods, with best-in-class services, low taxes and efficient multi-modal transportation for all its residents—urban professionals, young families and senior citizens alike. Bordering Chicago, Niles is safe, clean and conveniently located, with good schools, and a community which embraces ethnic diversity and comes together to enjoy events, festivals and cultures. Niles is truly easy to do business with and is home to several major corporations and signature businesses. If you can imagine it—you can create it, build and make it here in the Village of Niles. Enjoy a brand new start, a new home outside the city, more services for your life, a different kind of festival, a bold new business, a happy content, safe community. Your success is our success —as a community and a prospering Village.