Saanich set to raise recreation rates

The rates for using various Saanich recreation facilities could go up in 2018.

Council Monday sent a report recommending higher general admission rates at all four Saanich recreation centres to future 2018 budget discussions.

Suzanne Samborski, Saanich’s director for parks and recreation, said in a report to council that the proposed rate hike reflects the results of an annual review that includes an external market assessment. “As part of this process, a review of the regional market is conducted and participation statistics are reviewed,” he said. “In comparison to other Greater Victoria departments, Saanich recreation drop-in admission feers are currently among the highest in the region, while participation levels have remained relatively static over the last four years.”

The cost of a single drop-in admission at the four recreation centres would rise from $6.50 to $6.75 inclusive taxes. A one-year-pass would rise from $454.25 to $476.25 inclusive taxes.

The proposed increase would also impact student, youth and family rates. The rates for children (aged five to 12) to use the facilities and access childminding services would not change.

The report also recommends raising the rates for pool rentals and lessons at Gordon Head Community Recreation Centre, and Saanich Commonwealth Pool. Room rental rates across all four recreation centres, plus ice time rentals at Pearkes Recreation Centre would also go up by two per cent.

Staff largely recommends holding the line on field rental, picnic and event permit costs, with adjustments to longer term permits.

Golfers could also have to dig a little bit deeper into their pockets, as staff recommends raising green fees at the Cedar Hill Golf Course. A weekday green fee would rise from $44 to $45 dollars, a weekend green fee from $49 to $50. An annual weekday pass would cost $1,530 — up from $1,499 — while a full, year-round pass would cost $2,040 – up from $1,999.

“It is estimated that the proposed recommendation will generate approximately $31,250 in additional recreation membership revenue, but drop-in admissions and pass prices will be only slightly higher,” said Samborski.

Samborski said in her report that the recommendations would allow parks and recreation programs, services, and facilities to “remain competitive in an ever expanding and changing market” while “continuing to be financially responsible and being strategic with respect to the financial sustainability of the Cedar Hill Golf Course.”

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