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REPORTING · 30th July 2015
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat Council Discussed fee changes for the Leisure Services programs on Monday, July 20th. A recommendation was given to Council from the Leisure Services Advisory Commission. They advised a 3% fee increase, arrived at reluctantly.

Martin Gould, Director of Leisure Services explained that when the Leisure Services Advisory Commission met on July 2nd, they debated the change to the fee schedule.

“They took into consideration many things,” said Gould. “They took in recommendations made by administration, they took into consideration the impact of raising costs in the operations, such as wages, utilities and supplies, ensuring the facilities are affordable for citizens in our community and the impact of the recent labour dispute, as well as a comparison of fees to other communities which they had asked for and, finally, the Council motion of recovering between 24% and 30% of our costs on fee recovery areas.”

Gould expressed two member of the commission did not want to increase the fees at all. Four members of the commission were of the mind that if costs to wages and natural gas and supplies, do go up, someone would have to pay. This increase could be covered by taxes or user fees.

“In order to maintain the affordability to the community, the commission recommended that due to the most recent labour dispute, they felt that they did not want to hit the users with a fee increase literally two months after they got back into the facilities, so they felt the prudent course of action would be to raise the fees as of January 1, 2016, 3% and then of course, there were a number of other housekeeping items and smaller items that really didn’t affect people dramatically, that they felt could be implemented on September 1st.”

One of these changes is a daily pass which could be used at both Riverlodge and Tamitik on the same day.

Councillor Mary Murphy said this would mean two increases in 2016. She was told normally, the fees go up on September 1st. However, this year, they are going to do the fee change on January 1st. They would return to Council to change the fees for the fall of 2016.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff agreed with the changes as it reflects there was a service disruption. He made a motion to adopt the changes which was called and carried.