VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Tomorrow night’s vote at the Vancouver Park Board may mean bad news for your wallet.
City staff are recommending a two-per cent hike to most fees and charges next year, which includes some activities at ice rinks, swimming pools or golf courses. The fee, which would come into effect January 1, would bring in an extra 5.8 per cent in recreational revenue. Part of that revenue would go toward staffing costs, which will go up 2.5 percent in 2019.
Park Board Commissioner John Coupar with the Non-Partisan Association says another reason for the increase to help pay off the elimination of MSP in BC.
“It affects businesses and municipalities across the province. That’s an additional cost I don’t think municipalities were expecting,” he says.
Despite the jump, discounts offered to children and seniors are not going to change, he says.
“We’re always trying to make sure we’re not excluding anyone from the services of the park board, because we really do deliver the Vancouver lifestyle, and it’s really important that we try and keep a handle on fees,” he says.
The board would still be open to revising fees for people with accessibility issues and their attendants, families, groups, frequent users, and for low-priority times and special promotions and events.
There will also include at least four hours of low-cost sessions at the ice rinks and indoor pools every week.
In general, there will still be a 30 per cent discount for seniors and 50 per cent discount for children compared to regular adult fees.
However, the discounts won’t include the cost of the flexipasses, which give access to various community centres in Vancouver: the cost is expected to rise 2.5 percent. Flexipasses, 10-visit passes and single visit general admission are the main ways people use park services, giving up to 50 per cent of annual revenue.
Which rates are going up?
- Adult flexipass: $0.93 (2%)
- Single adult admission: $0.10 (1.6%)
- Fitness centre services: 2%
- Swimming, pool rentals, lessons: 2% average
- Skating admissions, rink rentals, lessons: 2% average
- Racquet and tennis: 2% average
- Outdoor court and field rentals: 2% average
- Kerrisdale Play Place admissions: $0.10 (2%)
- Kerrisdale Play Place party rentals: 2%
- Marinas: 2%
- Special event and filming permit fees: 2.5% average
- Festival of Lights (VanDusen): 2%
- Room and garden rentals (VanDusen): 2-4% average
- Bloedel Conservatory: $0.25 (3.8%) adults, $0.20 (4.6%) youth/seniors, $0.15 (4.8%) children
To see the full list of fee and rate changes, see Appendix A on the Park Board’s agenda.