Amherstburg Admirals

CAO meets with ice users on summer ice issues

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The ice at the Libro Centre will soon be gone but it will be going back in a bit sooner than anticipated.

CAO John Miceli has worked with user groups – including the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals, the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association and Skate Amherstburg – and dates have been adjusted to have the ice put back into the building in time for their summer programming. It was anticipated after the April 24 town council meeting that ice would come out of both arenas for all of June and July but a compromise has been reached.

While ice was removed several weeks ago from the pad A, ice will remain in the Movati ice pad (pad B) until May 30 when it will be removed starting at 8 p.m. Miceli said the ice will return to the Movati pad July 21 and to the pad A Aug. 22.

“We’re getting the savings we are hoping to get from the ice removal,” said Miceli.

The ice will be coming out of the Movati pad (Pad B) at the Libro Centre May 30. Ice is already out of the main pad. It returns to the Movati pad July 21 and to Pad A Aug. 22

The ice will be coming out of the Movati pad (Pad B) at the Libro Centre May 30. Ice is already out of the main pad. It returns to the Movati pad July 21 and to Pad A Aug. 22

That savings is roughly $30,000 per month.

There could be further reshuffling next year as other Libro Centre users will be involved in the discussions in order to get non-ice events onto the pads when the ice has been removed.

The meeting with the ice users this year went well, the CAO added.

“We’re working together,” said Miceli. “They understand our concerns and what we’re trying to do and we understand what they’re trying to do.”

The savings will be put into the newly-established Libro Centre reserve and be used for capital projects needed at the recreation centre.

“By everyone giving a bit, we are able to provide seed money to protect the facility,” said Miceli.

A surcharge for users was discussed at the April 24 meeting, but that is not expected to occur until 2018. That money would also go towards the Libro Centre reserve with the aim of maintaining it as “a Class A facility.” An exact figure as to what the surcharge will be has yet to be determined.

Town council also agreed that night to hire a qualified refrigeration mechanic at a cost of $83,000.

Memorial Cup trophy visits Amherstburg

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup will be decided at the WFCU Centre in Windsor but the trophy itself is visiting several areas of Windsor-Essex County while it is in the area.

Amherstburg was the Memorial Cup trophy’s stop last Sunday afternoon, as it came to the Libro Centre. The colour guard from Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 escorted the trophy into the main ice pad with the fans in attendance lining up to have their photograph taken with the cup.

The Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 colour guard pose with the Memorial Cup and the staff that brought junior hockey’s top prize to Amherstburg.

The Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 colour guard pose with the Memorial Cup and the staff that brought junior hockey’s top prize to Amherstburg.

“The Memorial Cup’s history is iconic to Canadian values,” said Mayor Aldo DiCarlo.

DiCarlo pointed out the trophy was originally dedicated in memory of Canadians killed in World War I, but was rededicated in 2010 to all soldiers who were killed in action. Legion Br. 157 president Dave Lauzon said they were pleased to have the opportunity to bring the trophy into the building and echoed DiCarlo’s statements about the history of the trophy.

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals and Mayor Aldo DiCarlo pose with the Memorial Cup while the trophy was at the Libro Centre May 21.

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals and Mayor Aldo DiCarlo pose with the Memorial Cup while the trophy was at the Libro Centre May 21.

Lauzon added it is the Legion’s honour to pay tribute to those who paid the supreme sacrifice.

“Further, we honour Canadian soldiers of today who partake in all conflicts globally,” he said.

The Memorial Cup trophy was originally donated by the Ontario Hockey Association in 1919 to honour the champions of junior hockey. It is considered by some the toughest trophy to win in sports.

Brandi Sieber brought her family and said they had been at the Libro Centre since noon. The kids said the best part was getting their picture with the trophy. Another fan, Josh Fex, said he is hoping to win the Memorial Cup and noted goalie and Amherstburg native Michael DiPietro is his idol.

Rex Bullard, Koheri Sieben, Brie Sieben and Macy Bullard stand beside the Memorial Cup during the trophy's visit to the Libro Centre May 21.

Rex Bullard, Koheri Sieben, Brie Sieben and Macy Bullard stand beside the Memorial Cup during the trophy’s visit to the Libro Centre May 21.

DiCarlo added the town was proud to host the Memorial Cup trophy.

“I think people learned about the history of it, which was very important,” he added.

The 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup runs through Sunday when the championship game will be played in Windsor at 7 p.m. The Spitfires’ last round-robin game is May 24 against the OHL champion Erie Otters.

To see a photo album of the Memorial Cup’s visit to Amherstburg, click here.

Admirals face off with Amherstburg police for Special Olympics

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Integrity Amherstburg Admirals were back in action Sunday afternoon but the result of the game didn’t matter much.

The Admirals faced off with the Amherstburg Police Service in a friendly game for Ontario Special Olympics and while the Admirals won 6-4, the more important part of the day was the cause.

The Amherstburg Police Service team and the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals pose with the Memorial Cup between periods of last Sunday’s hockey game for Special Olympics Ontario.

The Amherstburg Police Service team and the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals pose with the Memorial Cup between periods of last Sunday’s hockey game for Special Olympics Ontario.

“Any time we have an opportunity to be involved with a local cause with great people like the police, it’s a no-brainer for us,” said Admirals co-owner Wes Ewer.

Ewer said it was great to be playing on the same day the Memorial Cup trophy was in Amherstburg with both teams being photographed with it after the first period.

“It’s fantastic,” added co-owner Matt Fox. “Special Olympics has a special tie to the Admirals family. It’s a great event.”
Fox added it was another occasion to draw people into town and show off the community.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo drops the puck between B.J. Wiley of the Amherstburg Police and Luke Gagnon of the Admirals.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo drops the puck between B.J. Wiley of the Amherstburg Police and Luke Gagnon of the Admirals.

Ewer and Fox both suited up for the police team with Ewer guaranteeing at least a two-goal win for that team. Unfortunately for him, the result went the other way.

The only down side to the game was a leg injury to Admirals’ defenseman Aaron Jacobs, who was hurt in the second period and had to be taken from the ice on a stretcher. He gave a thumbs-up as he left the ice.

Special Olympics game3

Admirals co-owners Wes Ewer and Matt Fox suited up for the Amherstburg police team Sunday afternoon, with Ewer (14) checking Admirals forward Dylan Muzzatti against the boards.

Sgt. Mike Cox, who has helped lead local fundraising efforts for Ontario Special Olympics for over two decades, said the game has been held for years with General Amherst High School and various travel teams as the opponents but the Admirals became the opponent when they came to town.

“We’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember in one form or another,” said Cox.

Cox estimated the game raised about $500 for Special Olympics Ontario.

Memorial Cup coming to the Libro Centre May 21

 

Special to the RTT

The Memorial Cup is coming to Amherstburg.

The trophy itself, which is closing in on 100 years old, will be on display at the Libro Centre May 21 from 1-3 p.m.

As part of the nine day tournament, the host Windsor Spitfires and the City of Windsor have announced a community tour that will see the Memorial Cup travel across the region so that residents can experience junior hockey’s most coveted prize up close.

memcup_windsor_en copy

The Memorial Cup will arrive in front of the Libro Credit Union Centre and will be escorted into the arena by the Legion Branch Colour Guard at 1 p.m., where residents can enjoy the opportunity of getting their picture taken with this piece of Canadian sport history.

Festivities will start at 12 noon, before the Memorial Cup arrives, with free Turf Tots for toddlers and children under four years of age, face-painting, and FREE popcorn for everyone.

Kids and kids at heart will be able to get their favorite Admirals’ autograph prior to a charity game between the Amherstburg Admirals and the Amherstburg Police Service taking place on the Movati Athletic Rink at 2 p.m. The Ice Bullets Sledge Hockey Team will also be on hand to teach everyone how to shoot a puck while sitting in a sledge.

“We are so excited and honoured to be a part of this event,” says Mayor Aldo DiCarlo. “The 2017 season marks the 99th anniversary of the Memorial Cup, one of the most prestigious and coveted trophies in North American sport.”

The Memorial Cup, has a rich tradition that has shaped the way junior hockey is played in North America. The trophy was originally known as the OHA Memorial Cup and was donated by the Ontario Hockey Association in March, 1919, in remembrance of the many soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice for Canada in The First World War.

In 2010, the Memorial Cup was rededicated to the memory of all fallen Canadian military personnel.

Surcharge coming to Libro Centre users, but not in 2017

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A surcharge is coming for users of the Libro Centre but not for this year.

The surcharge, to be discussed during 2018 budget deliberations, was agreed to in concept Monday night though discussions are expected with the user groups, four of which were present during the meeting. Amherstburg Minor Hockey president Marc Renaud, Skate Amherstburg president Lynn Fox, Integrity Amherstburg Admirals owners Matt Fox and Wes Ewer and Rick Meloche, president of the over-40 men’s league, all presented to council and voiced concerns.

User groups pointed out that registration is already underway for the 2017-18 seasons and council assured them the surcharge would not impact them for this year thus meaning they don’t have to go back and adjust registration rates.

“This is for next year’s budget,” Councillor Jason Lavigne told the user groups.

In a report sent to council last November, Miceli stated “the facility has been operating on a budget that does not adequately provide for a level of service that citizens have become accustomed to and expect. Avoiding timely maintenance and inspections in an effort to stay on budget presents several risks such as loss of the facility LEED Certification, deferred and inflated ‘unbudgeted’ repair and maintenance costs, further deterioration of the facility and most importantly citizen safety.”

Libro Centre

That report called for “a full service delivery and cost analysis” to address operating costs of the Libro Centre.

Miceli’s April report recommended the hiring of a qualified refrigeration mechanic, which goes in line with recommendation put forth by Fieldcraft Engineering, the firm that reviewed the Libro Centre and its mechanical operations. That was agreed to by town council. It is expected to cost $83,000.

Fieldcraft recommended quarterly maintenance programs, building automation monitoring, training and standardization.

“The issue at hand is for council to decide if they are going to preserve the investment in Libro Facility asset and address user complaints through adopting a proactive approach to maintaining the Libro Centre as identified in (the recommendations in the) Fieldcraft report going forward, or is council going to decide to continue the existing practice and disregard user complaints,” the April report stated. “It is important for council to make this decision in the context of the November 15, 2016 report deferred by council on November 29, 2016.”

Miceli told council Monday night that they are “looking at trying to maintain a Class A facility” and feared it wouldn’t be around in ten years if it wasn’t properly maintained. He said the ratepayers are already subsidizing the facility to the tune of $1 million, or $113 per household.

The CAO said his first and foremost consideration regarding the Libro Centre is to protect the asset and said the town will work with user groups regarding the surcharge and said Amherstburg will be one of the first in the area to have such a charge.

The Admirals and Skate Amherstburg were concerned about the loss of summer ice, as ice will come out in June and July. While the town states that it will save $30,000 each month, those organizations feared damaging their programs with the Admirals noting the Libro Centre is a selling point to try and attract players to the team.

Renaud said that with about 540 children in minor hockey, a surcharge could mean big bucks. The town used the example of a $5 hourly surcharge raising $25,370 but Renaud said that could cost AMHA $15,000, or about $25 per child. Miceli emphasized no figure had been agreed upon but Renaud noted there could still be a cost to families.

Ewer said they understand money has to go back into the Libro Centre but was confident they could meet with administration, including Miceli, and resolve the ice time issue. He said they and Skate Amherstburg would like ice in the Movati pad put back in by July 20 with Pad A up and running about a month later.