Monday, July 28, 2014

Junior B Pirates Coming to Pelham

Photo Copyright: Niagara This Week.
During our meeting last Monday, Town Council signed a multi-year lease with the Pelham Pirates Junior B Hockey Club and officially welcomed them to the community.

After receiving the go-ahead from the Ontario Hockey Association, the Pelham Pirates (formally known as the Port Colborne Pirates) will move into the Pelham Arena for the 2014/2015 and 2015/1016 seasons. The Pelham Pirates will be one of 27 Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League teams within the Niagara Region and Southwestern Ontario. Pirate home games will be on Friday nights, with the option of Tuesday night games when necessary.

Town Staff met with various arena user groups and there is unanimous support for the Team’s relocation to Pelham. While it will mean that some ice users will have to shift rental times or rent more out-of-Town ice, all welcomed the Pirates. For instance, Byron Sinclair, president of Pelham Minor Hockey, said during our Council meeting: “We are behind you with whatever you need.”

Because they are part of minor hockey, the Pelham Pirates will pay the minor hockey rates for ice. (We understand that Junior B teams in other jurisdictions either pay minor hockey rates, or get their ice time for free.)

The Pirates will also operate the concession at Pirate games, during other minor hockey games, and public skates; they will rent the concession at our normal rate. This is actually a benefit for the Town; over the last couple of years, the Town operated the concession at a loss because we could not find a business or not-for-profit to operate it.

Like in other cities or towns with Junior B teams, the Town will provide a dressing room for the Pirates. (Last week, Council approved the rental of a temporary trailer for the Pirate change room at a cost not to exceed $22,240 for the remainder of 2014.) Visiting Junior B teams will use two arena dressing rooms.

The lease agreement between the Town and the Pirates also contains important provisions like what happens if there’s a failure to pay, how the Pirates might transition to a community team, and the flexibility required in hope that the Town attracts the grants and financing needed to build a new potential community centre. (You can review the Agreement on the Town’s website by clicking here.)

For more information about the new Pelham Pirates, please check out their website at:

Junior B hockey gives us something else to celebrate about our community. Council and I are excited about this great opportunity for the Town and for Pelham minor hockey players and fans.
25 August 2014 Update -- purchase better than value than lease

At the time of Council's initial approval of renting a change room, Council directed staff to look at the cost / benefit analysis of purchasing the portable unit (instead of renting).

On August 25, Staff reported that cost to purchase the portable itself is $88,089 with the cost of utility installation at $7,500. The total cost is $95,589. At the end of the Town's use of a purchased portable, the Town could sell it and recoup some significant costs. (Staff estimate that potential sale at approximately $50,000.)

In the case of leasing, the cost to lease the portable for at least 32 months is $80,000 ($2,500 / month) Added to this lease option is $21,615 -- which includes $7,500 for utility installation (above) and $14,115 for supply, delivery, and adding a ramp for accessibility requirements. Total cost is $101,615.

In this case, the 32 month estimate is based on the "best-cast scenario" should the Town be able to secure capital funding from other levels of Government and we move ahead on construction of a multi-faceted community centre. According to each of the short-listed architects, the Spring of 2017 would be the earliest a potential facility like this could open. Please see "Potential Multi-Purpose Community Centre Update" for more detail.)

Given the cost differences between purchasing and renting, along with the potential of recouping costs through selling the portable in 2017, Council agreed with Staff's recommendation that it would be more fiscally responsible to purchase than lease this portable.