At a special committee of the whole meeting on Monday, July 15 council received a delegation from minor hockey league president Mat Krotki about concerns over the price of ice time in town.
“Kids should be able to play affordable hockey in this town,” Krotki said.
The minor hockey league is looking to sell their unused ice time to a private user group.
“It’s a huge expenditure on our part,” Kroki said. “It raises the yearly cost for a child to play hockey in Smiths Falls.”
A time slot that was previously reserved for minor hockey leagues is now rented to an out of town double A hockey league for $210 an hour. Krotki told council its as if the town is putting local kids aside for a higher payday.
“As a tax payer and president of minor hockey am upset with how this is being handled,” Krotki said.
Councillor Wendy Alford is the former president of the minor hockey league.
“I am empathetic to your struggle for ice for these kids, it’s the same struggle I had,” Councillor Alford said. “A lot of these questions would best be answered by those in charge of policy.”
In previous hockey seasons the league only had to pay for ice time between November and February, but now have to account for the month of March.
“I have $90,000 to spend on booking ice time over a larger period of time,” ice convenor Barb Maitland said.
The league has also considered buying ice time in Athens for only $75-90 an hour, but realizes the commute may not be realistic for all families.
“We need to make sure this is addressed quickly but we also have a responsibility to our municipal neighbours,” Mayor Pankow said.