Judge may order Ozaukee branch auctioned rather than approve Kettle Moraine deal
The Feith Family Ozaukee YMCA appears to be headed to auction, a move that could leave Ozaukee County without a Y.
A bankruptcy judge is expected to rule next week on a proposed order that would put the Feith Family Ozaukee YMCA on the auction block Sept. 24, opening the door for private fitness centers to bid on the facility.
“Exactly what we feared is going to happen,” Rob Johnson, executive director of the Kettle Moraine YMCA, said Tuesday.
“Our understanding is there are potentially three people who might be interested (in bidding for the Y).”
Now the impetus is on the Kettle Moraine YMCA to quickly raise enough money to successfully bid for the Saukville Y, Johnson said.
“The more money we raise locally, the better our chance of being able to buy the Feith Family Y,” he said.
Ideally, he said, the Kettle Moraine YMCA would like to raise $1 million for the purchase, which would enable it to bid $2.5 million for the Saukville facility.
That’s double the group’s initial fundraising goal of $500,000, which it needs to meet the terms of its proposed offer to buy the Saukville Y from the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, which is in bankruptcy.
Kettle Moraine has made a $2 million offer to purchase the Saukville Y, a deal that would require it to finance $1.5 million and raise the remaining $500,000 by Dec. 15.
But with the auction slated for Sept. 24 and a potential closing date of Sept. 29, fundraising efforts are taking on a new urgency, Johnson said.
“If this goes to auction (and Kettle Moraine isn’t the successful bidder), that facility could be closed five days later,” he said.
The Save the YMCA campaign doesn’t need to have cash in hand by Sept. 24, Johnson said. The Kettle Moraine Y will borrow against any pledges it receives by then to make its bid for the Saukville facility.
If it receives pledges that exceed $1 million, the money would first be used to acquire the Feith Family Y and, if not all the funds are needed for that purpose, the remainder would be used for capital projects, Johnson said.
According to the proposed order, potential bidders would be required to qualify and register by Sept. 22. If there are no other registered qualified bidders, the court would approve the sale to the Kettle Moraine YMCA, Johnson said.
But if there are other bidders, the auction would proceed with a $2.1 million minimum bid.