County funds Swan Hills Minor Hockey

Reeve fearful of precedent

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County has provided money to the Swan Hills Minor Hockey Association that the reeve believes is stepping on thin ice.

At its regular meeting March 28, council approved a staff recommendation to provide a sponsorship grant of $150. As well, they will donate a silent auction item valued at $100 to the Swan Hills Grizzlies Minor Hockey Association for its annual fundraiser Puck n’ Funny on April 7.

“You’ve set a precedent,” said Reeve Ken Matthews, who was the only person to vote against the recommendation by Heather Nanninga, director of corporate services.

Matthews believes the decision could open it up to further requests from High Prairie Minor Hockey Association teams who seek donations for hosting annual tournaments.

Council was urged to support Swan Hills as part of the county.

“We need to strengthen our relationship with Swan Hills,” CAO Roy Brideau said.

“It’s important to have a presence in Swan Hills.”

The association appreciates community support.

“We have been relying on this fundraiser for the past five years to keep our fees low,” Swan Hills Minor Hockey Association president Jody Gardiner wrote in a letter to council.

“Hockey in a town this size is a challenge, especially with the [poor] economy the past couple of years and we will continue to strive to keep fees low so that sports such as hockey are not out of reach for families.”

Big Lakes County has not previously received a funding request from Swan Hills Minor Hockey, Nanninga reports.

The county sponsored $1,000 in 2017 and 2016 for High Prairie Minor Hockey to host provincial championship tournaments.


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