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YMCAs Of Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana Weigh Merger

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The YMCAs of Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana are thinking of merging their organizations.

The boards of directors of both organizations unanimously approved resolutions last week and will make a final decision by the end of the year.

Brad Smith, the chairman of the board of the YMCA of Greater Louisville, said both groups have been collaborating for years and started kicking this idea around earlier this year.

“We are not breaking new ground here,” Smith said. “There are other organizations that clearly have done it. There continues to be throughout our area, I think, a growing sense of regionalization. We think the two bridges fuel that.”

Smith said a merger could make the organizations more financially efficient by increasing their economies of scale.

“Ultimately, we think combining just allows us to reach more people in the community,” he said.

The merger would combine the staff, volunteers, facilities and resources of the 13 YMCA branches in Louisville and Southern Indiana.

Over the next couple of months, the organizations will try and come up with a combined name that “will be considered and the strategic vision and board structure of a combined association will be determined," according to a news release issued Monday.

The YMCA of Greater Louisville has 63,000 members and the Southern Indiana organization has 17,700, according to the news release. But the two organizations provide services — such as youth sports and child care — to more than 250,000 people.

The combined organization would have a budget of about $54 million and be under the leadership of Steve Tarver, the current president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Louisville, the news release said.