More ice time needed for AMHA

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Anthony Garland, novice travel director of the Airdrie Minor Hockey Association (AMHA), told Airdrie City council during its Dec. 5 meeting the program is growing rapidly and the association is now having to book three hours a week of out-of-town ice time.

The AMHA is currently using 170 hours of in-town ice time and Garland said they’ve had to shorten game times to accommodate the growth. He said the AMHA has 80 teams and 1,497 members.

“We’re using absolutely every second of ice time the City of Airdrie will allow us to use,” Stacey Carefoot, AMHA manager added.

She said the team is using ice time in Beiseker and Crossfield.

“Obviously we’ve got pressures across the city – we’re running out of room in the pool, we’ve got obviously a library to build, there’s a number of things coming up,” Mayor Peter Brown said.

He asked them to forward the information to Michelle Lock, the City’s director of community services.

“Airdrie minor hockey is one of my first loves in this community and it’s just awesome to see the growth, expansion,” Brown said.

Council accepted the report for information, as well as a $71,432 cheque as part of the association’s contribution to the building of twin arenas at Genesis Place Recreation Centre.

The AMHA agreed to pay five per cent of construction costs over five years and Carefoot said this is the second last payment of the association’s $469,000 contribution.

Off-leash dog parks

Airdrie City councillor Darrell Belyk asked Archie Lang, the City’s operations manager of parks and public works, if gates at the off-leash dog parks in Airdrie close automatically or get stuck after a heavy snowfall.

Lang said the gates have self-closing latches.

“The reason why we put the latches on was because there was a problem with snow build-up from time to time,” Lang said. “Staff does the pathways daily when there are snowstorms…The gates of the off-leash areas are one of the areas that they hand clean, so we certainly do our best to make sure those are clean so that they will close readily.

“All of the gates, although they all have spring closers on them, they all have those butterfly latches so that if you give it a little shove it will latch.”

Forest wardens

Kerry Webster of the Airdrie Junior Forest Wardens made Brown an honourary member of the organization during public question period.

She expressed gratitude for council’s support for the organization to maintain space at the Airdrie Agricultural Centre on East Lake Ramp.

She told council during the Nov. 7 meeting the group has been meeting at the Ag Centre for many years free of charge but had been advised by the custodian they would have to find a new meeting space. Brown said at that time he would contact the appropriate people regarding the request.

“I have never been so impressed and so proud to be part of the community,” Webster said during the Dec. 5 meeting. “It took council members four days to get us the answer that we had been working quite some time to answer on our own efforts.”

Brown said he couldn’t take all of the credit because the provincial government played a big part in it.

“I’m really happy for you guys, now you have a home forever,” he said.

– with files from Christina Waldner

Correspondence

Council received a letter from Marie Lauer regarding concerns with the City’s support for the Airdrie and Area Health Benefits Co-operative (AAHBC).

Brown said the letter was forwarded to the AAHBC board of directors for all members to have a copy. Council passed a motion to file the letter.

Legal opinions

Councillor Candice Kolson made a motion to direct staff to report back to council with options for dealing with impromptu motions coming forward through public question period to better support staff and council in responding to questions from the public.

She referred to a $2,362 legal opinion arising from the Oct. 17 council meeting where council directed administration to get a legal opinion on something that Sharon Pollyck, the City’s manager of legislative services, said could have been dealt with in-house.

“It’s costing residents money and it’s costing our staff time and resources that are taken away from other things,” Kolson said.

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