Council follows RAC recommendation not to further subsidize minor ice sports in North Perth


NORTH OF PERTH – Council decided on October 4 not to support a reduction in ice rates for minor sports at facilities in North Perth.

On September 13, members of the Listowel Minor Hockey Association came in delegation to present their concerns about the costs of minor hockey. The association is finding it increasingly difficult to manage its program based on the cost of ice cream and declining registrations. The group requested another reduced rate above the current rate for young people.

Listowel minor hockey also came as a delegation to the Recreation Advisory Committee (RAC) on September 28 and made a similar presentation regarding its economic challenges.

Following the presentation, RAC members discussed the circumstances faced by operating community facilities where revenues have declined due to the cancellation of leases and increased costs associated with their operations. . RAC recommended that North Perth not support a reduction in ice rates.

Com. Lee Anne Andriessen said she thought the report was very wise in terms of a recommendation, but wanted to know more about the discussion RAC had as she sympathizes with the struggles of the clubs.

“We talked about declining revenues from our operations,” said Jeff Newell, director of facilities. “For example, we just lost 12 rental hours at the Elma Logan Complex with minor hockey. They have reduced their ice needs.

He said they were also using security guards to perform vaccine passport checks.

“Our expenses for personnel and electricity, all of these expenses remain high,” Newell said. “Also note that there is a youth rate that applies to minor hockey and that it is already subsidized at about 20% of what the adult rate is and that is comparable to other municipalities. ”

He said there had been discussions such as reducing ice time for teams or reserving ice time outside of prime time, which would save money.

“Again, it’s not prime time for a reason. It would be early in the morning or late at night, but it would be at a reduced rate. ”

Andriessen said she believes the problems could be cyclical.

“If the hockey associations are having a hard time getting memberships and they are not able to pay for those ice periods, it will again reduce our revenue,” she said. “I’m struggling with the fact that they might not be able to buy that much ice time, which at the end of the day is also going to provide us with less income. So it is certainly not a win-win.

Com. Rothwell stressed that the board wanted to see how this applied to all ice sports, not just hockey.

“I thank the staff for pointing out where we are in terms of income and expenses and it is extremely difficult, the times we are in, and I think you don’t want to be ‘Captain Obvious’ but you sometimes have to be is that our increased costs have to be covered in one way or another and it is either the user who pays their proportional share or it is the tax base that will essentially subsidize that, “he said.” The board has made it clear in previous budgets that they are trying to set up a pay per user system, but thank you… Listowel Minor Hockey, they are looking at different ways to try to raise funds so that you can offset the increased costs.

North Perth council followed the RAC’s recommendation and voted not to support the demand for reduced ice rates for minor sports groups.

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