At the June 13 Governance and Operations Committee meeting, the Trail Board passed the Recreation Fee Bylaw which will result in a 3% increase for facility rentals, facility admissions and memberships, equipment rental and the Trail Residency Program (TRP).
With inflation continuing to rise, Parks and Recreation Director Trisha Davison consulted with Rino Merlo, the city’s acting chief financial officer, to find a short-term solution to weather the inflationary storm.
“It was a recommendation not to use 2% this year and to look at a 3% increase across the entire settlement,” Davison said. “As many of you know, we are actively seeking to restore leisure services and hope that in the fall many of our services will look much more normal. And they look more normal today, they just haven’t quite returned to the level of full service they were before the pandemic.
Revised annually, the leisure pricing regulations are adopted in September in connection with the evolution of all fall programming. Fee increases are generally kept at 2%, even during the pandemic. However, over the past few months, inflationary costs of goods and services have increased significantly.
Davison recommended that certain fees not change, including the price for public skating due to a previous partnership with the Murphy Family Foundation. Additionally, rental of equipment that does not require labor (such as projectors, screens, podiums), some walk-in admissions, and rental of the former library space, now the Victoria View Room, in the Memorial Centre.
In his report, Davison included comparisons that indicate a marginal increase in costs. The $6.80 walk-in rate for the Trail Aquatic and Leisure Center (TALC) would have increased to $6.95 with a 2% increase and $7 with a 3% increase.
Annual TALC membership will drop from $589.35 to $607 at three percent, prime-time minor hockey ice rental will drop from $84.90 to $87.45, and Trail Memorial Center will drop from $55.85 to $57.85.
The fee for purchasing a TRP card, which allows non-residents to access recreational services at discounted resident rates, will increase from $1,156 to $1,190.
Com. Carol Dobie did not disagree with the recommendation, but thought two percent was sufficient. She expressed concern for the elderly and many residents who cannot afford the current cost of living, pointing to a recent increase in visitors to the local food bank.
“I think the last turnout was 95, which was the highest turnout we’ve ever seen,” Dobie said.
Com. Robert Cacchioni agreed with Dobie and its impact on potential low-income users. He also cautioned the upcoming council about the costs incurred by the regional district for recreation.
Council passed the motion with only council. Dobie vs.
City of TrailInfrastructureMunicipal GovernmentLeisure