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Residents will see fee increase at rec centre

By: Matt Durnan

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 10:18 am

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Users of Airdrie’s Genesis Place Recreation Centre will pay more for passes in 2015, after City council approved an increase on June 16.

Annual passes will get a five per cent bump, while fees for single use, 10-time pass and monthly passes will see a three per cent increase.

Staff at Genesis Place have set a target goal of 100 per cent cost recovery that is based on having all of their operating expenses covered through user fees and does not take into account any capital funds, expansions to building or life cycling of equipment.

Since 2010, Genesis Place has steadily increased their level of cost recovery, with a 91 per cent budgeted cost recovery for 2014.

Aldermen had mixed feelings over the proposed fee increases, which Greg Lockert, Genesis Place Recreation Centre manager, originally recommended as a 10 per cent increase for annual passes and a three per cent increase for other fees.

“Our annual pass prices are some of the lowest in the province and we’re seeing a bigger and bigger gap between our prices and the averages,” said Lockert. “This makes it more and more difficult to keep up with 100 per cent cost recovery.”

Alderman Kelly Hegg, who also chairs the Community Services Advisory Board (CSAB) said he was against the 10 per cent increase and would much rather see a five per cent increase for annual passes.

“I did not support this increase at CSAB, while I recognize that we are dropping behind other facilities in our fees, I feel that a 10 per cent increase is too high and I’d propose a five per cent increase,” said Hegg.

Alderman Fred Burley is the CSAB vice chair and disagreed with the decreased percentage Hegg proposed.

“I was in favour of this increase and I would’ve been in favour of an even larger increase,” said Burley.

“The more we fall behind and our cost for upkeep goes up, it’s going to become harder and harder to keep up with cost recovery. It would be much easier to swallow an increase of 10 per cent for the next three years than three per cent for two years and all of a sudden 30 (per cent increase).”

Burley said a larger increase than five per cent was necessary.

“What ends up happening is we have to increase taxes in order to cover our shortages,” said Burley.

“We then have people who don’t use the facilities helping to pay for the people who do.”

What the increases mean to users is that adult annual passes will see prices go up from $520.80 to $546.84, which still falls below the average of comparable facilities like Calgary Cardel Place and Spruce Grove TransAlta Tri-Leisure where adult annual passes are $708 and $559 respectively.

Youth annual passes will get a bump from $360.15 to $378.16, while the most expensive pass offered at Genesis Place, the family pass, will increase from $989.10 to $1,038.56.

A three per cent increase to other admissions will be little more than pocket change in most instances, with adult single admissions increasing from $10.75 to $11.07 and adult 10-time passes taking a small jump from $92.40 to $95.17.

Bert Church Theatre

There will be a small change to the fee structure for users of Bert Church Theatre starting July 1, 2014.

Non-local businesses will see an 8.3 per cent increase for five-hour rentals and a 13.6 per cent increase for eight-hour rentals of the 377 seat theatre.

A five hour rental for non-local businesses will cost $850 and an eight-hour rental will now cost $1,250.

In addition to the proposed facility rates in the previous tables, administration has also implemented a cap to the number of hours available per day for weekend facility rentals from March 1 to June 30 of each year. These hours align with industry standards, best practices, and current theatre staff resources.

All event schedules must include a 30-minute break for technicians after four hours and all weekend bookings will be capped at eight hours of event time. Requests for events that exceed eight hours at all other times of the year will be reviewed by theatre management.

Local groups and outside not- for-profit organizations will not see any changes to their rental fees from last year.


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