By Trevor Busch
To mitigate increasing annual operating costs in recreation, town council has approved a three per cent increase to recreation user fees for 2015.
At their Nov. 24 meeting, town council voted unanimously to accept the 2015 recreation user fees increase of three per cent as recommended, and directed administration to bring an updated Fees Bylaw to a future meeting.
“Primarily the background for that is based on there hasn’t been a user fee increase for the past couple of years, and unfortunately, the recreation sponsorship program — to date — hasn’t proven results that we had hoped to by this time,” said community services director Rob Cressman.
In the proposed operating budget, the following user fee increases are reflected at three per cent for arena (as of Aug. 15, 2015 honouring existing bookings that year), auditorium (as of Jan. 1, 2015 with the exception of bookings already completed for that year), programs (except Fun Run and Halloween poster donations), Aquafun Centre (as of Jan. 1, 2015 with the exception of bookings already completed for the year), and sportsfields (as of Jan. 1, 2015).
The three per cent increase was proposed prior to consideration of authorizing credit card payment options for some recreational services. The increase was approved by the Taber Recreation Board in November and directed to town council for final approval.
The fee increase is expected to generate approximately $20,000 in operating revenue. Recreation fees have been fixed for two consecutive years leading up to this increase.