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Y? Because residents want one

Results from a market survey conducted to gauge interest in a YMCA coming to Rosemount show residents like the idea.

According to the survey, 89 percent of respondents said they would like to see a YMCA Recreation Center become part of the Rosemount community.

"I think the most impressive thing to come out of the survey is that 89 percent think it's a good idea," said Dwight Johnson, Rosemount's city administrator.

Leaders of Rosemount, Dakota County Technical College and the Greater Twin Cities YMCA received the results of the survey last week.

Anderson, Neibuhr and Associates conducted two surveys to obtain the information. They gave a telephone survey to a random sampling of 350 Rosemount residents in January and February. Additionally, 350 full-time DCTC students answered a web survey.

The questions were designed to determine if there's a need in the community for a recreational center and what type of activities residents would want at the center.

Of the residents surveyed, six in 10 said they would definitely, probably or maybe join the YMCA if it were located in their community. Most of those who said they would join wanted a family membership. The biggest influence on whether to join was affordability.

While the response wasn't as strong from DCTC students, the responses were still favorable. According to the research, 74 percent of students said they would like to see a YMCA become part of the DCTC campus.

Forty-three percent said they would definitely use the YMCA Recreation Center and 37 percent said they would support an increase in student fees to have an individual YMCA membership.

Johnson said he thinks the survey shows evidence that people in the community would join if a YMCA is built. Johnson said the various organizations will use the data provided to determine how to proceed.

Greater Twin Cities YMCA vice president Anita Lancello Bydlon said the YMCA has not taken a formal position on information received through the surveys. She said the information will be taken back to the organization's internal groups in the next month to get some reaction.

The city, DCTC and the Greater Twin Cities YMCA have been talking about the idea for more than a year. The city and DCTC both would like to see a recreational facility come to town. The college would like to have athletic facilities closer to campus and could have land to offer for the project.

Before the survey was conducted, DCTC president Ron Thomas said he thinks the YMCA is a community project that could benefit everyone.

It would appear he's not the only one that feels that way.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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