$10,800 grant approved
The St. Marys Lincolns were granted their request for support from Town Council on Tuesday after a presentation from President Brandon Boyd and Treasurer Stewart Grant. Boyd told Council that the Lincolns have operated continuously for 60 years and are the second-longest operating Junior B club in Ontario, after the Waterloo Siskins. He said that the club is part “of the town’s cultural identity” and noted that the club has been “a community builder like no other”. It is a community-owned club that is governed by an 11-member board of directors and a 4-person executive. Because they are community owned, Boyd said they rely on the people and many businesses for support. In presenting the financial statements, Stewart Grant said that the Lincolns have operated on a break-even position with an annual budget of $130K. Under new government regulations, the club can no longer be issued a lottery license for fundraising efforts, he said. Grant told Council that because of these new regulations, the team has suddenly lost 34%, or $45,000, of their annual revenue. The two most significant lost sources of fundraising were Nevada Tickets and the Elimination Draw. Grant said that they have made a concerted effort to bridge the revenue shortfall by contacting local businesses for support, which has been very successful, with over 80 different businesses sponsoring the team this season. He also noted that they had made a push for an increase in season-tickets sales, which he said has seen a dramatic increase of over 300 per cent. With a stronger team on the ice this season, Grant expects that gate receipt revenue will also be up this year. All of these positives, while significant, do not fully make back all of the revenue lost by the loss of lottery-related revenue, therefore the Town’s assistance was requested to ensure that the hockey club doesn’t have a cash crunch later in the season. The request to Council was a reduction in ice-time rates, free usage of the End Zone during home games, and permission to sell food in the End Zone during home games, which they could do in cooperation with local restaurants. Coun. Bill Osborne said that he applauded their efforts but noted that granting a reduction in ice-rental rates would set a bad precedent for other groups. He said that he would rather see the Town giving the club a “grant” instead, and the rest of Council concurred. It was calculated that the equivalent amount of the reduction would be $10,800. It was also noted that this amount would be part of the 2017 budget and Grant said that a January payment would be fine from a cash-flow standpoint. Also approved by Council was the plan to allow food sales in the End Zone.