Recreation rates pass with opposition

An amended Recreation Facilities Fees and Charges Regulations Bylaw has been adopted by Council despite reservations from one councillor.

An amended Town of Golden Recreation Facilities Fees and Charges Regulations Bylaw has been adopted by Council despite reservations from one councillor who believes the rates are too low.

“I don’t feel what’s being proposed here is fair to the taxpayer,” said Coun. Bruce Fairley. “Philosophically, I have trouble with it.”

Fairley believes that with the rates where they are for the users of the Town’s recreational facilities, it puts an unfair burden on the taxpayers, many of whom do not use these facilities.

The bylaw includes a rate structure for Public Swim & Public Skate and a new rate structure for Drop In & Instructed Sports, including Aqua Fit, Shinny Hockey, Badminton, Basketball, Volleyball, Indoor Soccer (and future drop in programs).

The Recreation Department has not yet received any direction from council regarding rate increases, or decreases, and therefore put forward modest increases for some of its programming to keep them competitive.

Manager of Recreation Services Jordan Petrovics requested some direction during an earlier presentation, but also said that if the department made a “significant” increase on the facility and program rates, they would be “dead in the water.”

There was agreement around the council chambers that this discussion (the balance between user fees and the tax funds being used) is a conversation that does need to take place, but at a different time.

Council will go into strategic planning sessions later in the spring, and plan to discuss recreation there. In the meantime, council approved the new rate structure, with Coun. Fairley opposed.