DeKalb delays plan to spend $5M on YMCA

The DeKalb County Commission put off a decision Tuesday on a plan to buy a YMCA for $5 million.

The $5 million would come from voter-approved green space bonds, and it would be used for renovations and expansions of the South DeKalb YMCA.

The purchase agreement didn’t move forward because the commission lacked four votes needed for approval. Three commissioners supported the plan and three opposed it.

Critics of the purchase said it was a waste of taxpayer money that was meant to buy parks. Supporters said the southern part of the county needs more government investment to improve health and offer more activities to under-served residents.

Under the deal, DeKalb County would buy the YMCA and then lease it back to the YMCA through the DeKalb County Development Authority for $1 per year over the next 50 years.

Commissioners Larry Johnson, Sharon Barnes Sutton and Stan Watson backed the deal, and commissioners Elaine Boyer, Kathie Gannon and Jeff Rader opposed it.

The issue will likely be reconsidered by the commission at its June 24 meeting.