By Trevor Busch and Greg Price
New program and rental ideas have prompted town council to amend Fee Bylaw 5-2019 to incorporate the revisions.
“Implementing new programs and rental options allows our department to grow, increases the service level to the public and increases overall revenues,” asserted administration in their justification for the changes at council’s April 23 meeting.
“With my team at the rec centre and at the pool, we discussed new program ideas. And with new program ideas, we need new fees and a bylaw. We really tried to anticipate a lot of different programs that we were thinking of. Some of these would come into place later in the year,” said Dawn Phillips, director of recreation for the Town of Taber during discussion period at Taber Recreation Board’s April meeting, before the board’s recommendations were sent to council for approval.
New fees for the Aquafun Centre include rental of the Viewing Area/Hour ($10), Viewing Area/Hour/After Hours ($50), Hot Yoga – Non-Pass Holder/Session ($100), Hot Yoga – Valid Pass Holder/Session ($20), Rookie/Ranger/Star Patrol ($85), Junior Lifeguard Club ($101.50), WSI Skills Evaluation ($40), WSI Online Material ($165), WSI Classroom Session ($195), Pool Party Package – Option A ($119.25), Pool Party Package – Option B ($129.25), and Pool Party Package – Option C ($204.75).
Dropped from the Aquafun Centre fee listing was WSI ($312.50).
New fees for the Auditorium include the Auditorium Party Package ($118), Community Drop-in ($4), Parent and Tot Drop-in ($4), and Pickelball Drop-in ($4).
New fees under programs includes Day Camps ($35) and “Programs” (Installation Fees, Facility Cost, and Equipment plus 20 per cent).
Following discussion, council voted unanimously to pass third and final reading of Fee Bylaw 5-2019.
Councillor and recreation board member Louie Tams inquired at the recreation board meeting what the viewing area of the Aquafun Centre entailed for its $10-per-hour charge.
“There is the viewing area, there is the main part and there’s the part along the wall at the back. What happens is we get groups who go in there and they want to have a birthday party for their kids. What they do is they set up early in the morning and they are there all day so that they have it four hours later. So instead of them blocking it off and stopping anyone from using it, we suggested why don’t we rent it out,” said Phillips at the rec board’s April meeting. “This came hand in hand with birthday packages where we will actually book that space which include swimming as well, with pizza delivery, viewing area and set up and tear down. It is for convenience for people who want the space.”
Another inquiry was made of why the viewing area/hour/after hours had a $50 fee attached to it.
“It came to our attention that when you book the pool from say 6-7 p.m. on a Sunday evening, and you want an hour after that to sit in the viewing area, $10 an hour isn’t covering the cost of our staff. We needed to have a higher cost because we are literally leaving a staff member there to keep it open,” said Phillips. “We are trying to make it more accommodating to have families have get togethers in that area.”