Marc Renaud

AMHA hosts house league “Day of Champions”

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The season is wrapping up for players in the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association and it is time to celebrate.

The house league division held its annual “Day of Champions” Sunday at the Libro Centre with age groups from tyke to bantam playing for championships in AMHA’s house league division. After games, each division crowned award winners and saw players chosen to receive individual honours.

“It’s been a great season,” said AMHA president Marc Renaud.

The “Day of Champions” produced its moments as well.

“We’ve had a lot of exciting hockey since 9 a.m.,” Renaud stated. “It’s been some good hockey.”

There were about 540 players enrolled in the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association this season, Renaud added, with about 350 players being in the house league division.

“That’s about where we’ve been (in recent years),” Renaud said of the enrolment.

The AMHA’s “Day of Champions” for the travel division is April 10.

“It’s been a great year for us,” said Renaud.

Renaud said the organization expresses its thanks to all of the volunteers, coaches and sponsors. Registration for the 2018-19 hockey season is expected to begin April 1. For further information, visit www.amherstburghockey.com.

The bantam Unifor 200 team was one of the victorious teams at Sunday’s house league “Day of Champions.” Back row (from left): David Wharram (Trainer), Ewan Mitchell, Ryan Wharram, Nolan Crain, Evan Sesto, Brayden Greenhalf, Cody Drouillard, Jason Hodgson (Coach)
Front row: Matt Connel, Andrew DiGiovanni, Louis Casey, Nick Grimaldi, Trevor Hebert, Ben Hodgson.
Absent was Thomas Vanlaerhoven-Overton and head coach Jeremy Drouillard. (RTT Photo by Jonathan Martin)

The 2018 House league Day of Champs are:

 

Novice: Midway Appliances

 

Atom: Gabriel’s Deli

 

Pee Wee: Gibb Insurance

 

Bantam: Unifor 200

 

 

The Memorial Award winners are as follows:

 

Novice – The Jeremy Bailey Award for Outstanding effort throughout the playing season. – Ben Meloche

 

Atom – The Murry Dufour Award for Outstanding effort throughout the playing season. – Nick Favrin

 

Pee wee – The Robert St Pierre Award for Outstanding effort throughout the playing season. – Sam Lojewski

 

Bantam – The Danny Hallock Award for Outstanding effort throughout the playing season.- Brendan Argoselo

 

The AMHA’s Day of Champions saw action all day Sunday at the Libro Centre. Novice house league action is pictured.

 

The House league Coach of the Year is- Tony Loggie

 

The House league Trainer of the Year is Kevin Owen

Town to consider its own surcharge recommendation for Libro Centre

 

By Ron Giofu

Town council has opted to consider its own recommendation for a new surcharge to be assessed to Libro Centre users.

In the process, they spurned a different proposal submitted by the building’s three main user groups – the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association (AMHA), Skate Amherstburg and the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals.

According to a report from manager of recreation services Rick Daly, “administration proposed a capital surcharge outlined in the user fee bylaw” and “this capital surcharge is set at $6 per rental unit of time for sport facilities and park bookings and $3 per rental unit of time for room rentals.”

That option would see an estimated $25,350 collected in a year, as opposed to the other option, presented Monday night by AMHA president Marc Renaud. That option is estimated at collecting $26,648.

“We believe non-residents should pay more and adult users should pay more,” Renaud told town council. “Kids in sport stay out of court.”

Renaud said the option created by the three major users would require all three principal users to contract ice hours at a minimum100 hours per year. The principal rate user surcharge would have been $4 per hour to all hours rented on all ice surfaces from Sept. 1-April 30 annually and $10 per hour for all pads from May 1-Aug. 31.

For Amherstburg resident users that book ice rentals for a minimum of 12 hours per month would be set at $6 per hour for all pads. Casual non-resident users would pay a surcharge of $13 per hour of ice rentals.

Under the town’s proposal, Renaud said it would translate into a $21.82 cost per AMHA player and $13.50 for every Skate Amherstburg participant. Under the proposal he presented, Renaud said the numbers drop to $14.54 per player in AMHA and $9 per Skate Amherstburg participant.

According to the administrative report: “Administration recommends that Option #1 (the town’s recommendation) be approved as it is the most equitable and easiest to implement. The users would pay into the reserve equally based on rental levels.” The report added that “the fundamental difference in the structure of the reserve in Option 2 (presented by the primary users) is problematic, in that it doesn’t allow the town to deal with global building issues and only ice specific issues. Secondly, it creates inequality, as it doesn’t allow the users who are paying a disproportionate share much representation at the time the replacement is needed. In this case, you would have non-primary users subsidizing the future replacement of infrastructure to the benefit of the primary users.”

Councillor Rick Fryer said he supported the town’s recommendation, believing the $6 surcharge across the board is “fair” and that the people who use the Libro Centre most would pay a greater share of the surcharge.

“I don’t see this being a big issue with the user groups,” said Fryer.

Renaud reiterated his position that adult users should be paying more in order to keep youth in sports.

Councillor Jason Lavigne said he has three children who have played travel hockey and regardless of whether it is children or adults playing, the adults still pay the costs.

“You are kind of wishy-washy here,” Lavigne told Renaud.

Lavigne said the Libro Centre is the envy of the area but there are costs to keep it that way.

“We have to realize it costs money and we’re having issues here,” said Lavigne.

Councillor Leo Meloche believed the user groups’ options were “a burden to the non-primary users” and that the general taxpayers were paying “a pretty good share already” to maintain the Libro Centre. He said he didn’t find the user groups’ option to be unreasonable. Councillor Diane Pouget said “we try to be fair to everybody” and noted Daly’s report where it said the primary users had 54 per cent of the ice time in 2016 but would only pay 38 per cent of the total surcharge under their proposal.

Councillor Joan Courtney noted she has children and grandchildren who play hockey and believed that if a person can play hockey, they can afford to pay a little more. She noted there is money for hats and jackets and that “somehow they find the money” and didn’t believe the surcharge was unreasonable.

“To keep the Libro Centre a great facility, I don’t think it’s too much,” said Courtney.

Amherstburg one of 40 communities in Goalie Assist Program for 2017-18 season

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

The Ontario Minor Hockey Association came out with a new program, geared towards giving children between the ages of 5 and 7 a chance to try out a position of goalie.

The program provides a new set of CCM goalie equipment to 40 communities, who will then loan the equipment to their prospective goalies. The associations will retain the equipment at the conclusion of the hockey season so it can be reused the following year. The idea is to continue to introduce new goalies to the position each year.

“We usually get two or three players wanting to be a goalies by novice age,” explained Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association president Marc Renaud. “To support them AMHA supplies goalie equipment to the younger age group, tyke to pee wee for their use each season. With AMHA being awarded a new set of goalie equipment it shows the goalies their position is important to AMHA. Also that we keep our equipment in top condition for their use, will help in off setting a replacement cost for new set we would have to pay. Over all reducing costs reduce registration fees.”

Renaud explained the cost of the equipment for younger goalies is in the area of $700 to $800, and gets more expensive as the child gets older.

There were more than 170 applications received from all across the OMHA for this program, which Renaud refers to as “a great program to assist goalies with equipment.”

“We’re proud to give back and re-invest in our associations through a program like Goalie Assist,” said OMHA Executive Director Ian Taylor. “Hockey is a late-specialization sport and the Goalie Assist program is a great way to introduce the position to players who may not have otherwise had the opportunity. The equipment gives every player a chance to try being a goaltender without making the financial commitment.”

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.

 

 

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission among recipients of Unifor Local 200 donations

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Unifor Local 200 has donated $20,000 to four local organizations with one of the organizations being from Amherstburg.

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission received one of the four $5,000 cheques from the union Friday afternoon. The other four organizations were the Wellness Centre, the Lakeshore Community Food Bank and the Essex Area Food Bank.

“We try and reach out in the community as best we can,” explained Unifor Local 200 vice president Marc Renaud.

Tim McAllister, president of the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission’s board of directors, expressed their appreciation to the union.

“Thank you for choosing us as one of the donors,” said McAllister. “This donation will be incredibly helpful and allow us to reach our goal of people helping people.”

McAllister said last year’s donations to the Mission helped them serve 15,596 hot meals, give out 635 gift baskets and 72 baby food boxes. He said the baby food program has become popular and the need is evident.

Unifor Local 200 donated $5,000 to four local non-profit organizations last Friday.

Unifor Local 200 donated $5,000 to four local non-profit organizations last Friday.

“You have truly helped make a difference in the lives of the community,” he told the Unifor members in attendance.

Lonnie Jones accepted on behalf of the Essex Area Food Bank and read a statistic that said one person that uses a food bank represents three people. He noted the number of children and seniors have risen, a feeling shared by Kathy Lucas of the Lakeshore Community Food Bank.
“There is a need out there more than ever for our food bank,” she said.

Lady Laforet said donations have helped keep the Wellness Centre open. She added that donations go beyond just distributing food, but it also allows people to get additional help.

Dan Cassady, financial secretary with Unifor Local 200, said it was a pleasure for the local to recognize the “wonderful grassroots organizations.

“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said Cassaday.