County council reverses decision on YMCA funding

Kosciusko County Courthouse.
By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — Kosciusko County Council reversed course on its earlier funding decision Thursday night for the use of $100,000 in ARPA money for the future downtown Warsaw YMCA.

On Oct. 12 , council was deadlocked in a 3-3 vote on a proposal to provide the YMCA with the request.

But confusion arose since then over how council member Kimberly Cates had cast her vote. Video shows she appeared to raised her hand in both support and opposition of the spending plan.

Cates said she was informed that the positioning of her hand might have opened the door for confusion.

As a result, Council President Mike Long on Thursday asked for a revote, but did not directly mention Cates as the source of confusion.

Shortly before the second vote, Long invited YMCA CEO Jim Swanson to address council and Swanson took the opportunity to reiterate a suggestion that county employees would receivwe a discount for use at the nearby YMCA regardless of how council voted.

Council then voted again and Long switched to support the plan, altering the final tally to 4-2.

Cates pointed out she had originally voted against and remained opposed Thursday night.

“I was told that it appeared I may have voted for or against, but it was recognized at the meeting that I voted against,” she said. 

Long said afterward he changed his vote based on Swanson’s comments.

“We can actually use it as a actual benefit package now. You come to work for the county, we have a discount available at the Y,” he said.

No public discussion by council was offered immediately after the vote.

Long said he’s more confident that such confusion on specific votes won’t happen again.

Thursday’s vote was Dave Wolkins, Tony Ciriello, Sue Ann Mitchell and Long in support with opposition from Cates and Joni Truex. Kathy Groninger abstained because of a conflict of interest connected to her family’s direct involvement in the YMCA project.