GENESEO – LivWell Community, which has proposed a community fitness center in Avon on land behind the Quicklee’s Travel Plaza, has asked Livingston County for $10 million to help with construction costs.
Don Mills, executive director of the LivWell Community, Wellness and Fitness Center project, stepped before the Livingston County Board of Supervisors on July 26, to ask for money from the county to help fund the non-profit project. He also requested an annual allocation from the county.
“What we are asking for is significant. It is $10 million over five years for capital construction costs from Livingston County. This ask comes with conditions. It comes with the conditions of us continuing to do our job and be able deliver the rest of the funding stack at the state, federal, private level,” said Mills.
The total cost of the project, Mills said, would be $35 million. Once the center is built, Mills said, it would cost $3 million a year to operate the facility. Mills was also asking the county for an annual allocation amount for the project.
“It is an annual allocation at some level to support programs and access, transportation solutions. That allows the full magnitude to enjoy the access of what we are going to offer at the facility,” said Mills.
Mills would not say what that dollar amount was but said it was something that could be discussed with board at a different time.
The 125,000-square-foot-center is being proposed by the non-profit Livwell Community Wellness and Fitness Center, behind the Quicklee’s Travel Plaza on Lakeville Road near Exit 9 on Interstate 390. The center would include an ice rink, indoor track, indoor turf, fitness center, multi-purpose basketball and pickleball courts, a child care center, an accessible playground, as well as a healthy living café and meeting space.
The county Office of the Aging office space is being proposed to move there, along with a kitchen and meeting space for its countywide senior nutrition program.
There are also negotiations for the facility to have a medical component.
The Bruckle family has already donated land for the project.
Mills said without help from the county moving the project forward would not be impossible but would be very difficult.
“If the county says no to our request this project becomes a significant uphill battle for us,” Mills said. “I would not say that the project is finished at that point, but the project that we have been proposing in its current form that we have been proposing no longer exists and changes to a point where it does not necessarily have the same amenities, impact and draw as what we are proposing.”
Mills would not say what the project would look like without county funding or if it would change from a non-profit agency to a for-profit agency. In addition to county money, he said they are working with other companies to try and save money with the ice rink part of the project.
“Our current plan on the ice side is, we are working with a refrigeration company, Simco out of Toronto, and we have engaged with them to help us receive the energy credits where we would take the heat that is produced off of the ice and recycle it through the rest of the facility, which would open us up to a point of potential funding that would allow us to develop both ice facilities at a lower cost than the $15 million through the whole project,” said Mills.
Mills said once built the center will have a significant economic impact on Livingston County. He said it will create 103 jobs and attract 115,800 visitors from outside of the county.
“The nice things about our plan is the economic impact and development that is projected to result from our facility, it should bring this money right back into the county,” said Mills.
Following the discussion from Mills the Board of Supervisors when into executive session. County Administrator Ian Coyle said no decision has been made on if the county is going to support the project or not.
Executive Director of the LivWell Community, Wellness and Fitness Center project Don Mills stepped before the Livingston County Board of Supervisors to ask for 10 million dollars over 5 years for his project and an additional dollar amount each year for the project but that amount has no been decided on.