UXBRIDGE: Akin to the playing surface, councillors voted to freeze the current ice rental rates at Uxbridge Arena during municipal budget deliberations last week.
Throughout the session on Friday, Jan. 23, councillors were able to subtract more than $148,000 from the current municipal budget, which comes on the heels of more than $600,000 in spending reductions earlier in the process.
Councillors chose to freeze rates at their current level through May 2016 made on the heels of a recent presentation from Uxbridge Minor Hockey Association (UMHA) board members, who argued that the association has seen a decline in enrollment in recent years, and is saddled with the highest ice costs in their league.
However, Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor was startled to discover that gate fees are no longer charged for minor hockey games, instead the fee is simply added to the cost of registration.
“I sat there for many years in the ticket booth with Dorothy Pollard, and there was always a charge that helped to offset the cost of hockey and helped pay for the referees,” commented Mayor O’Connor.
Facilities Manager Bob Ferguson added that the ice will be out at the arena almost two weeks earlier than in the past, with the recent rescheduling of the annual Bonner Boys Tournament.
As well, councillors directed Mr. Ferguson to investigate the possibility of selling naming rights to the ice pads at the arena as a way to further boost annual revenue at the facility.
Councillors also reacted positively to a suggestion that township staff look at implementing an ‘adopt a trail’ program as a means of increasing municipal revenue.