Reduced fees save season for Penetang Junior C Kings

·2 min read

A last-minute show of generosity by the Town of Penetanguishene will help out the Penetang Junior C Kings.

The decision came out of Coun. George Vadeboncoeur’s persistence in finding a way to help out the team. That is why he came back to council at a recent meeting to propose that the Kings be offered a reduced ice-time rate.

“We should charge the minor hockey rate that would end up saving the Penetang Kings about $1,900 in terms of their ice rates for the season,” said Vadeboncoeur, addressing council. “In the director's report, it was identified that three of the five teams that responded to the survey charged their junior C teams' minor hockey fees.”

He said the Kings represented a great community asset, and that was why it was important to him that council support this move.

“It is an important pastime in Penetanguishene and there's a lot of history with the Kings,” he said. “The town did receive a safe restart grant, so I think if we have a shortfall of revenue in the arena, some of that funding from the higher levels of government can be used to cover that deficit.”

Jim Brown, president, Junior C Kings, said he was very pleased with the gesture.

“This will definitely help out the bank account at the end of the day,” he said, adding, the team spends up to $25,000 per season for ice rentals. “I have to admit I was a little bit in shock to hear the great news. A very big thank you to the Town of Penetang. This will definitely help with the lost revenue from sponsors and fans, as we are a break even club at the end of the day.”

Coun. Debbie Levy said she was in support of the motion, but wanted a clarification.

“I think you did mention at the end of your motion that this is for 2021 as a COVID measure, or is this something you'd like to see ongoing?” she asked Vadeboncoeur.

He elaborated that this request was just for this season.

Mayor Doug Leroux said he could see the community value in the presence of the Kings.

“The Kings have been with us for many many years,” he said. “They've been with us a long time and they bring a lot of entertainment and good to the community. I have no issue supporting this.”

Sherry Desjardin, director of recreation and community services, wrote in an email that the rates for minor hockey for the 2020/2021 season are $128.26 per 50-minute session and will increase to $132.75 for 2021/2022.

Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com