Fees and charges for City-owned recreational facilities are rising almost across the board following a unanimous decision by Yorkton Council at its regular meeting Monday.
“Fees and charges have typically been established and approved by Council on a 3-year term. Establishing fees on a 3-year term meant that Council was required to deal with fees and charges once in their term plus it allows community groups to plan their own fees and charges,” explained Darcy McLeod, Director of Community Development, Parks and Recreation with the City.
“The fees and charges being presented to Council are based on a 4-year term to coincide with Council’s term in office. Once fees and charges are approved by Council, they continue to be monitored by administration annually during the annual budget process.”
McLeod said the increases are once again being phased in.
“Administration believes in the practice of increasing fees slightly each year rather than implementing large increases every few years. This belief is shared by most of our users who appreciate the ability to plan their respective budgets and programs. Our fees and charges are related to the cost of operation as well as the market. Direction received in the past has been that our fees should not be the highest or the lowest, but rather in the middle when compared to other municipalities and similar service providers at the same time achieve appropriate cost recovery rates. To find a balance between revenue and expenses, cost and standard of services are reviewed,” he said.
A three per cent increase was a starting point for all fees and charges.
The fees include facilities at the Godfrey Dean Cultural Centre, Kinsmen Arena, Yorkton Public Library, and city ball diamonds and soccer fields.
Councillor Ross Fisher said he felt it was time to take a closer look at the cost of operating the facilities.
“What does it actually cost us to provide ‘X’ services?” he asked.
Fisher said once the cost of operation is known, then the fees can better be established to recover whatever portion of those costs Council feels it appropriate.
Coun. Larry Pearen said he felt Administration was doing that already, suggesting looking into the costs now would be “nickel and dining things.”
The increases were approved, but Administration was asked to provide an operating cost report by this fall.