MidlandToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected]. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). This letter is in response to a recent column entitled Midland should charge out-of-towners more to play at rec centre.
As a senior who lives in Tay Township and doesn’t use the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre, I really don’t have any reason to be concerned about increased fees for ice time at the facility. However, charging increased fees for out-of-town users should not be an option.
The facility was never meant to be the exclusively for the use of Midland residents. As its name suggests, it was supposed to serve the entire North Simcoe area. While my memory may be in error, I believe the neighbouring municipalities made significant contributions to the construction costs.
I admit that I have no idea how neighbouring municipalities help with the day-to-day operational costs, if there even is an arrangement. The neighbouring municipalities should help fund the operation of the facility since it is supposed to serve the entire area. However, suggesting a sliding scale for individual users depending on where they live is just not fair.
A family from Tay with a youngster participating in the Midland Minor Hockey Association should not pay more than a Midland family.
In theory, both youngsters will receive the same game time, and the same practice time on the ice surface that is supposed to serve the entire area. So the NSRSC is the home rink for all MMHA players as long as they live within the boundaries dictated by the Ontario Minor Hockey Association.
As well, I would predict that a double-standard registration would have a hugely-detrimental effect on the Midland Minor Hockey Association itself and could cause a vicious circle for the town. Using the hypothetical figures listed in the column, if registration for a Midland player is $800 but an out-of-towner is $950, how many of those out-of-towners would chose to go elsewhere, or worse, chose not to play at all?
The result would be a drastic registration decline, fewer hours of ice time required, and less revenue from the MMHA for ice rentals.
And from an ego point of view, would Midland’s rep hockey teams be as strong without the out-of-towners. It is my understanding that Tay players have bolstered Midland’s rosters for years.
All joking aside, the current controversy is confined to ice-time rates, but I must wonder if the thought of charging out-of-towners more for all other services offered at the rec centre may be considered in the future.
In summary, yes neighbouring municipalities do have an obligation to help fund the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Complex, because it is supposed to serve the entire area. However, when users are receiving the same service, the cost should be the same.