Groups face rec rate hike

Swim clubs will be one of the groups which will see an increase in their rental fees come 2016

Dale Berger

Swim clubs will be one of the groups which will see an increase in their rental fees come 2016.

Dale Berger and Darby Boyd from the Shuswap Recreation Society came to city council Monday, Dec. 14 to let them know that a seven per cent increase is planned for  meeting rooms, the auditorium and the swimming pool at the SASCU Recreation Centre. Field and park rentals will also increase by about seven per cent. Examples of increases are: the hourly pool rental for swim club training would go from $48.75 to $52.20 and the hourly rate for meets would go from $77 to $82.40.

Hourly rates for playing fields such as Blackburn or Little Mountain would go from  $5.75 to $6.15 for youth and $18.50 to $19.80 for adults. These rates are for the fields, not per person.

Dale Berger, general manager of the society, told council that a full spectrum of increases, which could include individual user fees, won’t be considered until 2017. For next year, however, he said it is necessary to compensate for additional resources required to operate the amenities.

“One of the issues with raising rates is finding the balance point amongst the users and also keeping in mind where we fit in as far as comparable communities come into play.”

The rates haven’t changed since 2013.

Regarding pool rental rates, aquatic safety regulations have changed, requiring additional lifeguards on duty. Previously, regulations were based on the number of people in the pool. The Lifesaving Society has changed regulations to depend on the size and layout of the pool. That means during slower times, the number of lifeguards cannot be reduced.

Coun. Kevin Flynn said he thinks a seven per cent increase over three years is “pretty reasonable.”

Coun. Alan Harrison explained that the recreation society is an arm’s length operator of the facility, and that’s why he was supporting the increase without seeing the spreadsheet.

“I know they need to try and increase revenues versus expenses. What I hear them saying, these are not open public times for people, and these are the ones council is trying to protect.”

 

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