HUNTSVILLE – A tough economy had Huntsville council holding the purse strings tight when it came to a funding request from the 2013 National Pond Hockey Championship organizers.
Mayor Claude Doughty suggested the municipality did not have available funding to meet the $18,000 request from the organizers.
“We’re not going to be in a position to help them with the cash this year, but we can look at it in following years,” said Doughty. “If there is anything else we can do to help them out then, obviously, we’ll make every effort to do it.”
Pond hockey organizers made their request after council agreed to supply TriMuskoka with $100,000 worth of cash and in-kind donations should it win the right to host Ironman Canada. However, Whistler, BC, was awarded the triathlon, so Doughty said the $100,000 commitment was now moot.
Coun. John Davis was supportive of providing the pond hockey championship with funding, so long as the funding came from the existing small community grants pool.
Davis noted that if the town was putting an emphasis on economic development it should support events such as the championship.
But as the small community grants fund is expended for the year, councillors and staff agreed the championship should be considered for a grant when next year’s budget is set.
The small community grants fund was $15,000 this year and was divided among several community groups.
Championship organizers stated in a letter to council that the minimum economic impact of its event on Huntsville is $640,000 each year. The funding from the town coffers would have been used to support volunteers and staff to help create and maintain the rinks, among other logistical requirements.