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City council votes to increase fees for summer sports

Airdrie City Council Briefs:

By: Matt Durnan

  |  Posted: Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 11:23 am

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Airdrie athletes may feel a hit to their wallets this summer as council approved fee increases for the City’s parks on Feb. 3.

The most significant increase will be felt by adult soccer players, who will see an increase from $27.50 to $39 per player per season.

All youth fees for soccer and baseball will also see an increase - 2.5 per cent per player - and adult baseball will be increased by the same percentage.

The increases were made in order to keep up 100 per cent cost recovery of maintenance costs, according to Airdrie Parks Director Archie Lang as well as maintain the current level of taxpayer support for the fields of around 69 per cent.

“The maximum youth field use by user groups is 31 per cent,” said Lang.

“So this level of general taxpayer support is appropriate.”

In other words, only 31 per cent of the time that the youth fields are in use, they are occupied by youth sports user groups. At other times, as specified by Lang, they can be used by the general public for activities such as Tai Chi, kite flying, Frisbee or other recreational activities.

In 2013, field maintenance for youth fields was $93,907 and the revenue derived from youth field bookings was $29,259.

The 2013 maintenance cost associated with adult sport fields was $18,912 and the associated revenue was $26,168, despite the costs per player in Airdrie’s adult leagues being among the lowest in southern Alberta.

Airdrie’s rates were compared with those of Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Grand Prairie and Calgary. For adult baseball in 2013 Airdrie rates ranked second lowest at $38.50 per player per season, while adult soccer ranked the lowest at $27.50 in 2013 per player per season, compared to Medicine Hat which ranked highest at $76.80 per player per season.

“Airdrie is seen as having a fairly high standard of field maintenance,” said Lang, who made note of the biggest increase coming in adult sports as, “raising the fees for youth developmental sport could have negative impacts on minor sports as the fees become less affordable for families raising young children.”

New drainage bylaw

City council approved all three readings of a new drainage bylaw on Feb. 3 that was developed by Public Works, Engineering Services and Municipal Enforcement.

The bylaw will take affect immediately and the need to pass all three readings at one meeting was a necessity, according to Adam Carroll of Airdrie Engineering Services.

“We want to have this bylaw in place as soon as possible so that we are able to enforce it for the coming construction season.”

Carroll explained that the previous enforcement regarding the City’s drainage system was somewhat scattered between three different bylaws, and by having this new bylaw in place, it establishes an outline and increases the City’s ability to enforce it.

The bylaw will allow the City to prohibit the discharge of products such as oils and grease, solvents and paints, industrial waste, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, soil, sediment or solid matter and any substance that emits odour into the City’s drainage system.

It will also allow for enforcement against obstructions to surface drainage facilities such as concrete swales, grass swales and easements, which will prevent flooding.

The drainage bylaw supports council’s strategic priorities pertaining to fiscal balance, in particular a priority that states, “Develop and implement an asset management strategy to maximize cost-effective life of the City’s assets, incorporating conservation and water management strategies.”

Any person guilty of breaching the provisions of the bylaw can be fined anywhere between $100 and $2,500 depending on the severity and frequency of the breach.

Carroll made note of the importance of residents familiarizing themselves with the bylaw and said if they spotted someone breaching it, to notify the City’s Bylaw Enforcement department.

Victory Church

The Airdrie Victory Church will soon be on the move from their location at 308 First Ave. SE to the former Airdrie Legion building at 508 Third Ave. SE.

Council unanimously approved final reading of the land use bylaw pertaining to the plot of land on which the Legion sits, to include religious assembly as a discretionary use.

Representatives from both the Legion and Airdrie Victory Church spoke to council and thanked them for their cooperation in the process.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to mayor and council for their help in this,” said Legion President Bob McNevin.

“The Legion isn’t leaving Airdrie, we’re here to stay, but we just needed to downsize.”

On the flipside, Airdrie Victory Church is in need of an upgrade after 19 years at their location on First Avenue.

“We’re a growing church and we’ve outgrown our current building,” said Pastor Nick Williams.

“The Legion addresses our needs and I think that adding in religious assembly as a discretionary use is compatible with the other accepted uses at that location. This will help us increase our capacity and continue to grow.”


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