A taxpayers’ subsidy at a private arena could come to an end.
The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has agreed to help the Greater Vernon Minor Hockey Association with rent at Okanagan Training Rink for the remainder of 2014. But there is no guarantee for Jan. 1, 2015.
“If we reorganize the schedule, can the ice time rented at OTR be replaced at the same time at Civic, Priest Valley or Kal Tire Centre?” said director Bob Fleming.
About 280 to 300 hours per year are rented for minor hockey at OTR, and that includes $12,000 from GVAC and $24,000 from the City of Vernon.
GVAC began renting ice time at OTR in the mid-1990s when Civic and Priest Valley arenas were at capacity.
When Kal Tire Place first opened in 2001, ice time at OTR was reduced, but some usage by young children has continued at OTR so older children and adults had earlier ice times at the public facilities.
GVAC and the City of Vernon, which is responsible for recreation programs, will now consider the long-term needs for ice use.
“The city can look at ice time and what’s available,” said director Jim Garlick.
“I hope there will be a reassessment of ice time and the use of it. I hope we can draw these people back into the existing (public) facilities.”