CITY DROPS CONSIDERATION OF ISLAND FITNESS PROPERTY FOR POLICE STATION

09 October, 2014

We are pleased to report that the Bainbridge Island City Council voted at its October 7 meeting to remove the Island Fitness property from consideration as a location for a future police station and municipal courthouse. We are very thankful to those people who helped us convince the City that our property, with its present use, is a community asset that should be preserved and supported.

In case you have not been following this issue, here is what happened. Beginning earlier this year, the Bainbridge Island Fire District and City began analyzing their needs for, and the potential location of, a new fire station headquarters, police station, and municipal court. We learned at the September 23 City Council meeting that the consultant had placed our property high on the list of choices for siting the new police/court facility. This was a surprise to us as no one had contacted us about this possibility, and because the property is not for sale. We are very pleased to operate our business in a location that is central to the citizens of our community.

So, over the last two weeks, we contacted the city management and council-members to explain how Island Fitness is an asset to our community, and why the property should be immediately removed from consideration. We pointed out things like the following:
   • Island Fitness provides health and fitness services to over 2000 members of our community, of all ages, physical abilities, and interests;
   • Island Fitness employs 70 people who are paid over $1,250,000 per year in salaries and benefits;
   • Island Fitness supports the vitality of downtown Winslow by bringing 5-700 people to our facility every day;
   • Island Fitness is a major supporter of local non-profits like Helpline House, Arms Around Bainbridge, Walk MS, Bainbridge School Foundation, and many others.

We also explained that, while some businesses can relatively easily move to another building, it would be practically impossible for us to relocate Island Fitness to another equivalent spot on the Island. Thus, if the City took our property, it would effectively mean the end of Island Fitness.

Many people rallied to our support, and also urged the City to drop our property from consideration.

And, the City heard those words. At the October 7 City Council meeting, the council quickly and unanimously voted to remove the Island Fitness property from consideration for a police/court facility.

So, we can now go back to normal – working our hardest to provide an outstanding and supportive health and fitness facility for all of you.

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