Town implements changes to recreational fees

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Council gave first, second, and third and final readings to proposed amendments to the Fee Structure By-Law, 1584-20 Schedule C, which will impact the cost of certain recreational activities using Town assets at the January 27 council meeting.

Fee changes will affect fees regarding the usage of the Town’s parks and sportsfields, the arena, and the swimming pool.

Price changes will affect summer sports, including youth baseball, soccer, and football, which will see fees go up from $20 per player to $22 per player per season each.

Adult slo pitch, baseball, and soccer team fees remain the same, at $400 per team per season, but slo pitch tournaments are seeing a pricing change as well, now at a set rate of $750 per tournament.

It was previously a $500 base fee, and an additional $50 per baseball diamond used for tournaments.

Equipment and base rental fees for the Town’s sportsfields have been removed, but booking fees for parks and sportsfields is seeing a $10 increase, now at $40 per booking.

Summer rates for the arena are now seeing an increase as well, with the price going up to $30 per hour for youth events, and $40 per hour for adult events—a $10 increase for both.

Winter rates are also seeing changes, with minor hockey, figure skating, and youth event fees rising to $73 per hour, up from $70.

Adult recreational hockey fees are increasing to $125 per hour from $120, and advertising fees are going up as well, to $450 per year for board advertising and $250 per year for wall advertising at the arena.

For the swimming pool, children aged 0 to 3-years-old can still swim for free, and the $3 child fee is now applicable to children ages 4 to 8 (it was previously 4 to 7).

Youth drop in rates are going up, with kids 8 to 17 years of age seeing a $4 entry fee, up from $3.

Adults and seniors are seeing a 25-cent increase to drop in fees as well, now at $6 and $5 respectively.

Monthly and yearly passes are also seeing a rise in price, as well as punch cards.

Base rates for lifeguard, first aid, and safety courses are staying the same, but now participants will have to pay for materials costs as well.

Al Roth, Director of Operations at the Town of Pincher Creek, told council that reviews of the recreational fees are a normal practice, but haven’t been done for some time.

“We haven’t had an overall fee review or increase in about five years. There’s been small changes to the pool fees—they’ve gone down and we introduced free swimming in 2017 for Canada 150,” said Roth.

“(Pool fees) were still a lot cheaper in 2018 and 2019, so we’re just bringing those fees back into line with the industry standard. We’re taking a look at our fees as a whole so we don’t have to bring this back,” he said.

“Anywhere from 2 to 5 per cent is more or less the maximum increase you’re going to see with any of those fees. It’s been at least five years since any of these fees have been looked at.”

Councillor Mark Barber spoke in approvement of the fee changes, and commended Town staff’s efforts in bringing the fees up to date.

“(Recreation Manager Adam Grose) and his associates did a lot of work and gave a lot of thought in putting this together. I have no hesitation in recommending (the changes),” said Barber.

Council gave all three readings to the bylaw’s amendments, and approved them unanimously at the January 27 council meeting.