Rising ice rental fees force Davidson JAA to explore financing options

Members of the Junior Athletic Association (JAA) are exploring their financing options after the Town of Davidson recreation office raised the ice rental fees they charge the JAA for this upcoming season.

Leah Herback, treasurer of the JAA, said the association pays a flat rate per team to the town for ice rental and that is going up by $2,500 this year to bring the total amount charged to the association to around $14,500 for the year. She said members of the JAA now have to decide what plan of action they need to take this season to offset that added cost.

Herback said the JAA raises money to pay this ice rental charge through player registration fees, putting on tournaments and charging fans at the door who come to watch the games. All money that is raised through kitchen sales at the rink goes directly to the town.

She said this added $2,500 charge to the JAA doesn’t necessarily mean player fees are going up this season, as they will try to find ways with their other two money-raising options to make up the difference. Herback added the addition of a midget hockey team in Davidson this winter should also help bring in more funds to the association.

“Because we’re having a midget team that will be more hockey in Davidson, so hopefully the door and another tournament will make up for the increase,” said Herback. “Because there will be a lot more midget games going on there will be more revenue from the door.”

Trevor Ouellette, recreation director for the Town of Davidson, said increased ice usage and increased costs to run the ice plant as well as keeping the lights on longer as a result of having a new midget team is the reason for the increase in the JAA ice rental fees. He said the increase is not an attempt to reduce the town’s subsidy to the JAA and they are still paying “probably half” of what other associations in nearby towns such as Watrous are being charged.

Ouellette said ice rental rates charged to the Monday night recreational hockey league is also going up this season, while the Cyclones, Babes on Blades and Tractor Bellies fees are staying the same as last year. The amount charged to out-of-town teams for holding tournaments in Davidson is also going up due to the high demand the town has for their ice and the little time available during the season to rent it out.

To read more please see the September 1 print edition of The Davidson Leader.