Parks and recreation fees, like those for using Crystal Pool, are set to increase. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria recreation fees set to rise nearly five per cent

Fee increase needed for wages, aging infrastructure costs says staff report

The City of Victoria is considering raising its recreation fees by nearly five per cent in 2020.

Annually, the City considers changing its recreation fees based upon other costs, including inflation, maintenance costs and staff wages.

The last increase to the Recreation Fees Bylaw was by 2.8 per cent in 2018.

This year, Thomas Soulliere, director of parks, recreation and facilities, is suggesting an increase of 4.7 per cent as of Jan. 1, 2020. This would see single adult admission rise to $5.76 from $5.50, and to $2.98 from $2.85 for children.

ALSO READ: Victoria city staff start from square one on Crystal Pool project

In a report coming to the committee of the whole on Thursday, Soulliere explains that staffing costs are the primary expense for delivering services, noting that on Jan. 1, staff wages went up by two per cent, and will go up another two per cent on Jan. 1, 2020.

Additionally, operating costs for both the Crystal Pool and the Royal Athletic Park increased by 17 per cent from 2017 to 2018, due to rising needs for the aging facilities.

ALSO READ: Negotiations fail for Crystal Pool at Save-On-Foods site

Comparatively, even with the increase, Victoria’ drop-in rates are low compared to other neighbourhoods, which is $6.75 in Oak Bay, Saanich and on the West Shore.

The topic will be up for discussion on Thursday, Nov. 14.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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