The 2020 - 2022 Community Development, Parks & Recreation Fees and Charges were approved by Yorkton Council Tuesday.
“Fees and charges are established and approved by Council and have been approved on three-year cycles in the past. This allows community groups to plan their own fees accordingly. Once fees and charges are approved by Council, they continue to be monitored annually by administration during the operating budget process to ensure they remain relevant,” explained Taylor Morrison, Recreation Services Manager with the City at the regular meeting Tuesday (as Monday was a statutory Holiday).
Morrison said fees typically rise as needed on a yearly basis.
“Administration believes the practice of increasing fees slightly each year is more beneficial than implementing one large increase every few years. This belief is shared by most of our facility and program users who appreciate the ability to plan their respective budgets and programs without having to absorb significant increases every few years,” he said.
“Our fees and charges are related to the cost of facility operations, as well as comparing to similar facilities in similar-sized communities.”
While no formal policy exists, Morrison said they try to be moderate in approach.
“Direction received in the past has been that fees should not be the highest, nor the lowest, but rather in the middle when compared to other municipalities and similar service providers, while at the same time achieving appropriate cost recovery rates,” he said.
“To find a balance between revenue and expenses, costs and standards of services are continually reviewed.”
Although a formal cost recovery policy has not been established by Council, administration aims for an overall cost recovery target of 60 per cent for its recreation facilities, said Morrison.
“Recovery rates fluctuate at other recreation facilities as their potential for generating revenue fluctuates with the community’s need.”
The cost recovery rates at these recreation facilities in 2018 include 67 per cent at the Godfrey Dean Cultural Centre and 46 per cent at the Gloria Hayden Community Centre. The parks operation is extremely limited in its revenue generating potential, with the exception of sports fields which achieved an 18 per cent cost recovery rate in 2018.
“A base increase of three per cent has been used as a starting point for all fees and charges given that our costs generally increase at this same rate. Rounding of fees and the inclusion of G.S.T. in the final amount also occurs, which skews the percentage increase in some cases,” said Morrison.