City settles with Aspen Junior Hockey |

City settles with Aspen Junior Hockey

Carolyn Sackariason
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” The city has agreed to pay $23,000 to Aspen Junior Hockey for overcharges in ice time.

The Aspen City Council approved the settlement Tuesday after privately negotiating with junior hockey representatives earlier this month. The amount credited will be $7,666.67 annually for the next three seasons.

The overcharge by the city was a result of loose record-keeping. Aspen Junior Hockey books its ice time in blocks and is supposed to cancel when no one uses the rink. But the city’s human hand-count calendar system didn’t track when there were no-shows, and the nonprofit organization was billed for time that wasn’t used, said Tim Anderson, director of the city’s recreation department.

The discrepancy was found during the 2005-06 season when hockey representatives noticed a gross overcharge for ice time that wasn’t used.

City officials and accountants have spent the past several weeks analyzing bookkeeping records and schedules to determine where the breakdown occurred.

In the end, city officials decided to give the credit.

“The city of Aspen is giving Aspen Junior Hockey the benefit of the doubt that the contracted ice times were indeed canceled and therefore providing credit to this nonprofit youth program,” Anderson wrote in a memo to the City Council.

Patrick Keelty, head of the junior hockey program, said he is pleased with the end result.

“We are very happy with the arrangement,” he said.

Anderson said Wednesday that the credit allows the organization to keep its fees reasonable to youth and their families, and dividing the credit over three years allows the city’s recreation department to meet its budgetary goals.

Anderson added that a new computerized software system has been implemented and will schedule all ice time, as well as keep records.

“All accounting, record keeping and billing has been firmed and tightened up,” he said.