HST repeal keeps aquatic fees steady

Fees to use the aquatic centre will drop slightly despite a six per cent increase in fees.

Fees to use the aquatic centre will drop slightly despite a six per cent increase in fees. The savings come as a result of the HST rollback, thereby shaving seven per cent provincial sales tax from the fees.

Arena rates haven’t changed since a revision a few years ago, when they upped the arena rates by a considerable amount. Leisure Services staff recommended to council in this report not to further raise leisure services rates.

“Our primary reason we increased the arena rates by upwards of 50 per cent was to also hopefully get 50 per cent more revenue, and we’re at about two per cent, so it wasn’t working, we’re losing groups,” said Chris New, director of leisure services.

At the aquatic centre, New said they recommended the six per cent increase to rates because of the new collective agreement for aquatic centre staff.

“There is an increase in labour that we recommend pursuing through an increase in aquatic rates,” he said. “The end user won’t really feel that too much this year because they just received a seven per cent decrease because of the repeal of the HST.”

New said the current proposal is just a one-year revision to the bylaw, so as to leave the door open for potential talks with the RDEK on the resident/non-resident fee structure.

Coun. Sharon Cross asked about the competition from the Cranbrook Curling Club. New said they have recommended a slight decrease to non-ice time rental fees.

“We have lost a number of regular uses in the non-ice time of the arena,” he said. “It’s still much higher proportionally than what the curling rink charges. Again we’re not trying to undercut them, we’d like to see their ongoing success.”

Council passed first, second and third reading of the Leisure Services Fees and Charges bylaw.