Town councillors unanimously agreed to waive the ice fee rentals for the Midget B provincials, which will be hosted next month by Ponoka’s Fountain Tire Wolves.
The decision came during council’s regular meeting Tuesday, Jan. 27 after hearing some of the options as laid out by administration. Wes Amendt, director of community services for the Town of Ponoka, provided three options to council:
1. Award $1,000 as per the town’s financial sponsorship program.
2. Award more than $1,000, reducing what would be left in the $5,000 allocation.
3. Donating facility use, amounting to $6,025.
The final option includes the costs of $3,675 to rent the large ice, $2,100 to rent the small ice and $250 to rent the mezzanine lounge.
“Option 1 follows the current policy, which is deemed fair an equitable to all groups,” said Amendt.
Coun. Tim Falkiner was in favour of waiving all the fees. “They’re looking at 1,000 people coming into our community.”
Amendt suggested if council waives the fees, it would be setting a precedent.
However, the tournament committee is willing to work closely with the town to help out, explained minor hockey president Julie Feragen. Additional costs such as overtime incurred during the provincials tournament would be paid for by the tournament committee, she said.
“We don’t want the Town of Ponoka to pay any of that,” said Feragen.
In the past Amendt, said the town followed the sponsorship program policy. In the case of the Lacoka Lacrosse provincials, held in Ponoka and Lacombe, the town provided the group with $500.
By waiving the fees, the Town of Ponoka will also be given major sponsor status of the tournament. Amendt added he does not feel the town will have to hire more than the normal allotment of two staff over the busy weekend.