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October 24, 2012

Mayor seeks grant funds for YMCA project

Council puts off action on fee waiver as 'Brownfields' grant researched

(Continued)

At that meeting, Councilor Colin LePage suggested the fees could be as much as $100,000. Hearing that, his colleagues continued the matter to last night to obtain better information about the fees. The next day, Fiorentini said the fees are actually $60,000, not including another $10,000 or so in water and sewer fees that he said the YMCA also wants the city to forgo.

Fiorentini said he opposes waiving the fees for financial reasons and because he does not want to set a precedent for waiving development fees for nonprofits.

The 170 Main St. property was originally home to the Griffin-White Home for Men. YMCA of the North Shore bought the building more than a decade ago, changed the name to the Wadleigh House and continued to operate it as a home for low-income men until time caught up with the structure. Instead of trying to rehabilitate it, the YMCA decided to demolish it and start over.

Fuller told councilors the YMCA does not expect to make a profit on the project. Any money it does make will be invested back into the property for upkeep and maintenance, she said.

The Wadleigh House units will be in addition to 52 single-room units the YMCA offers at its main location at 81 Winter St.

The council has also referred the issue of discounting building fees for non-profits to a study committee to develop a policy.

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