Important town hall meeting presents amalgamation issue

Meeting set for Monday night at 7 p.m. at J.L. Crowe Secondary

It’s a proposal that has been a couple of years in the making and now the people behind the concept want the public’s input.

Amalgamation between the Rossland-Trail Minor Hockey Association and the Beaver Valley Minor Hockey Association will be front and centre on Monday when the Joint Merger Concept Committee presents the facts during a meeting set for 7 p.m. at J.L. Crowe Secondary.

The meeting is designed to inform parents about the potential of merging the RTMHA and BVMHA into one minor hockey association for the area.

“We have a presentation prepared with a power point slide show,” explained Shawn Brant, a member of the committee.

He said the goal is to get as much information to the public as possible for an informed decision.

“There’s a perception that this is a done deal,” said Brandt. “That’s untrue.

“And that’s why we’re having this town hall meeting. We wanted to get all the material prepared and present it on Monday.”

The motion to amalgamate will be voted on at each association’s respective annual general meetings on May 3 for the RTMHA and May 5 for the BVMHA.

“If this fails because of a lack of information I would be shocked,” said Brandt.

He explained the timeline on the merger began in 2009 with initial discussions. One phase of the process went through with Rep teams joining forces but house teams remaining separate.

That process went smoothly prompting further study into complete amalgamation.

“We decided to put this committee together, which is formed from people from Beaver Valley and Rossland-Trail,” said Brandt. “We have taken it to a stage where we’ll have this town hall meeting on Monday and present the facts.”

He explained the facts will be based on last year’s experience, the advantages and disadvantages. It will present models on how amalgamation would unfold.

“Basically we planned everything so we could do this vote in May and move forward.”

This year’s respective AGMs will mark the first time the issue will be put to a vote among the membership.

Brandt said if the vote turns down the idea of amalgamation, at least the new executive will have all the information it needs – regarding concerns, questions and limitations – to decide the next course of action.

The idea has certainly caught the attention of local hockey parents.

Brandt said a survey was distributed February and almost 200 response came back.

“That’s enormous when you consider percentages that come back on surveys. Five per cent of surveys returned are considered successful and when we looked at our survey we had something like a 50 per cent response.”