BONNYVILLE - A $10,000 sponsorship request from the Lakeland Lacrosse Association failed to score with Town of Bonnyville council members who are looking for more details from the organization before considering it further.
The request was brought forward during the Jan. 23 council meeting with organizers seeking the funds in support of the 10th annual Ice Melter Tournament being held in Cold Lake and Bonnyville May 10-12.
Some members of council felt that given the dollars being requested, it would be appropriate for the group to provide more details on the upcoming event directly to council in order to properly weigh the benefit to the community.
“Last year, we declined their request for $10,000 because there were no games being hosted in our community, is that correct,” questioned Coun. Neil Langridge, seeking confirmation as to whether the group is planning to actually have games hosted in Bonnyville this year.
Renee Stoyles, general manager of corporate services, confirmed that was the case. “They’ve listed the C2 as one of the playing surfaces” for this year’s tournament.
According to policy, Stoyles said any local teams’ tournaments would get $250. “It is up to council’s discretion what kind of economic benefit it would bring to the community to go any higher than that.”
CAO Bill Rogers said the policy guidelines are “pretty straight forward” with a $250 sponsorship covering the average minor hockey tournament of track meet. However, he noted, there are other “outliers that council contributes a great deal more to each year.”
Rogers added, “Then something like this comes up that looks like a round peg in a square hole which is a big event that has a great deal of exposure for the Town of Bonnyville,” which Rogers said council can then consider on its own merits.
Coun. Byron Johnson said he would like to see the organization present their request directly to council to give the opportunity for council to ask questions and obtain more information on the event.
“I think it was a couple of years ago they were hosting a tournament, C2 was supposed to have it and then they didn’t get enough teams, so they didn’t anything in Bonnyville, everything was in Cold Lake,” Johnson said, adding, “The last thing I want to do is give a bunch of money and then have nothing happen in town again.”
However, Mayor Elisa Brosseau said she would like to see council support the tournament with a $5,000 sponsorship.
“If they are saying a thousand athletes, there’s no way they are all staying in Cold Lake with how busy their hotels are right now. They are definitely going to be staying in the town of Bonnyville. They are going to drive through the town of Bonnyville.”
Brosseau also addressed the purpose of the regional recreation committee. “Is it all about just positioning the town of Bonnyville or is it working as a region,” reiterating that the group has included the C2 in its game plan.
“For us to go even $5,000 without a heck of a lot of information from them, I’m not quite comfortable with that,” Coun. Phil Kushnir said, adding a schedule of games at the C2 was in order. “Is there three games in the town of Bonnyville? Is there 30 games in the town of Bonnyville . . . I would like a little bit more confidence that we know they are coming here.”
The organization will be invited to provide more details with council making a decision at a future meeting.