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Want a YMCA in Rosemount? Now is the time to say so

Leaders at the city of Rosemount and Dakota County Technical College have an interest in helping bring a YMCA to Rosemount, but they need to know if residents and students want one.

In the coming weeks, two phone surveys will go out to residents and DCTC students. The results will help determine community interest in moving forward on such a project. Anderson, Neibuhr and Associates will conduct the two, 32-question surveys.

City administrator Dwight Johnson said the surveys will offer an indication of whether building a YMCA is feasible in Rosemount. Johnson said the city, Dakota County Technical College and the Greater Twin Cities YMCA have been talking about the idea for more than a year and that it's time to gather some data.

Some residents may have received a call this week, as the company was pre-testing to determine the efficacy of the test.

Anderson, Niebuhr vice president Marsha Niebuhr said the company will call a random sampling of 350 homes in the Rosemount area. She said the questions have been designed to determine if there's a need in the community for a recreational center and what type of activities would be wanted at the center.

The survey will take about 15 minutes. Residents will speak with a real person and the callers are located in Minnesota. While she knows people are busy, Niebuhr encouraged residents who are contacted to answer the survey.

"If you're called, please answer. It's the only way we know what residents want," said Niebuhr.

DCTC president Ron Thomas said he feels like the entire Rosemount community could really benefit from the addition of a YMCA and he hopes the results come back favorably. He believes the college could benefit from having a nearby indoor facility for their athletic programs as well as a partner to provide opportunities for students in a variety of programs.

"We are excited about the prospects of this thing," said Thomas.

Thomas said they expect to have results from the survey back in late February or early March. He hopes the survey results will give a clear indication of the next steps that should be taken.

If there's an interest in bringing a YMCA to Rosemount, Thomas said the college has land it may be able to offer up for the project. Much will need to be done to get to that point but Thomas said this first step of conducting the survey will provide the road map for the future.

Thomas said the city and the college have worked well together on a number of projects and that this could be another opportunity to improve the community through a joint effort.

"We believe this is a community project that could benefit everyone," said Thomas.

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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