BARRY’S BAY – Madawaska Valley councillors are inviting minor hockey representatives to the table after failing to set the ice rates and user fees for the Paul J. Yakabuski Community Centre.
Councillors met at the recreation, heritage and community economic development committee meeting on February 5.
In a report to committee, Recreation and Development Community Coordinator Paul Nopper explained what it would take to bring minor sporting ice rates down from $157 to $110 an hour.
According to the Barry’s Bay and Area Minor Hockey Association, Madawaska Valley has the highest ice rates in all of District 5.
Minor hockey reps met with council late 2013 to negotiate lower ice rental rates and agreed that $110 is the magic number for the organization to break even.
At the latest meeting, Nopper explained that if the township lowered the hourly rate for minor sports, non-residents would have to pay $100 extra per child and the township would have to subsidize its local players a total of $5,900 for the season.
In January, Nopper approached Killaloe-Hagarty-Richards Township to see if it would subsidize its players, therefore eliminating or lowering the non-resident user fee. The majority of non-resident minor hockey players come from KHR Township, Nopper said.
However, HR wrote back saying it will not be subsidizing its players, adding that council did not agree it is the responsibility of the taxpayers to provide funding for minor sports.
Nopper said because of this decision, there is no point to reach out to other townships since there are only a handful of players from each area.
Minor hockey is hoping to lower their registration fees for the upcoming season, but it will be difficult, Nopper said. Insurance rates for the organization, amongst other fees, are increasing.
“There are adjustment costs they have to worry about,” Nopper explained.
Sylvie Yantha questionedwhether the proposed $100 user fee is enough, considering the building will need capital repairs in the coming years.
Get your February 12, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read this full story.