HCA has full board for 2019

CARP – A board in trouble of dissolving only one year ago peaked to a maximum membership of 18 members following the Huntley Community Association’s (HCA) annual general meeting May 9.

At the 2018 AGM there were only six on the board. But 2019 will officially kick off with a bang as the HCA was able to fill every available spot at the table for the coming year.

The evening meeting started with a good sign as 2018 HCA Vice President Judy Makin noted the attendance, which was a little more than 15 in the audience was “probably the biggest turnout in a decade.”

The HCA ended the year with a loss of $8,300 but is in sound financial shape.

“That may sound bad, but we put more than $8,000 in to our ball fields and $13,000 in to this building (the Carp Mess Hall), so it’s not that bad all things considered,” treasurer Ashley Cols said.

One of the losses the HCA has chosen to take out of their year is the outdoor movie night. Despite the only outdoor movie night in West Carleton, it has failed to reach the black the last couple of years.

One of the big pluses for the HCA is the Huntley Burger Hut – a mainstay at the Carp Fair that made almost $6,000 for the HCA last year despite missing sales from a Friday night following the tornado.

“I do it because it’s fun,” HCA board member Peter Green said. “The Carp Fair is magical, but the hut is becoming a business.”

It was a good year for outdoor ice as well. The HCA maintains the outdoor skating rink beside the W. Erskine Johnston Arena at the Huntley Community Centre.

“Our rink is well respected as some of the best, if not the best ice in Ottawa,” Green, who is also the outdoor rink director, said. “It’s thanks to Warren Lathem and his crew’s efforts. He’s been doing it for years.”

This year the rink dedicated specific weekly time for ringette.

“It was a big success,” Green said. “Girls, boys, people came who didn’t know, and they just flipped their sticks upside down and had a blast.”

Green could see making more use out of the facility in coming winters.

“There’s lots of room for expansion,” he said. “We could easily run a winter carnival, we just need some more volunteers.”

Green said their ice crew gets paid and after a long, hard winter, there was a slight loss when ice pad operations were added up.

“I love the outdoor rink,” Green said. “It’s a great part of Carp.”

In the summer. Softball is the biggest recreational sport in Carp.

“We are going to put additions resources in to that in the future,” Green said.

But this year their diamonds will be hosting the U19 Men’s Ontario Fastball Championship.

“That’s going to be a big deal,” Green said.

Following the financial report, more than a couple residents were concerned about the HCA’s role as an advocate, specifically as it related to comments the HCA made regarding the concrete batching plant issue. The HCA also spoke at an Agriculture and Rural Affairs committee meeting on the issue.

Board member Allan Joyner said the HCA does look over development proposals in the area, but its role is as an information provider.

“We don’t want to be put in to a position where we are taking positions on issues,” Joyner said.

Not all in attendance are opposed to the HCA being an advocate.

“I feel Carp is only being represented by business interests at the highest levels,” Friends of the Carp Hills chair Janet Mason said. “It’s not being represented by the community.”

“I don’t think it’s our job to be the advocates, but it is our job to inform the advocates,” Joyner said.

Following the meeting, the board was dissolved and elections were held, overseen by Coun. Eli El-Chantiry.

In 2019, Makin will move up to the president’s role, Peter Green will be the new vice president and Jody Bell is the new treasurer. Fifteen other members will make up the rest of the board.