YMCA Plans on Hold:Mayor Vetoes Sale of Land because of Technicality

By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.

The city council’s planned sale of about an acre of land to the YMCA, to allow the non-profit to construct a new building and expand its programming is on hold after Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy vetoed the sale this week, due to a technicality in the language of the sale agreement.

The $75,000 purchase of an acre of open space at Tremont and Wheeler streets in front of the Y was approved by the Ways and Means Committee earlier this month, but Mayor Kennedy in vetoeing the sale said the council order erroneously stated that the sale was a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT).

“My understanding is the order was a misstatement of the council’s intention,” said the mayor. “The council wanted that to be the purchase price, not a PILOT. It was a transcription error that needs to be corrected.”

Kennedy also stated that she supports the plan to build a new $26 million facility, on the parcel of land particularly since it will also include more than $300,000 in roadway improvements at the intersection of the two streets.

Additionally, although the mayor said she supports the Y’s expansion, she noted that one $75,000 PILOT payment would be insufficient for the city, given the on-going services the city will be providing to the YMCA.

She recommended that the city examine PILOT agreements with other North Shore YMCAs to see how much the Lynn Y should contribute annually.

City Council President Daniel Cahill said the council will take up the veto at a later meeting.

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