Recreation fees are going up in Grande Prairie.
Generally, the increase is three per cent annually, while Eastlink Centre memberships are up slightly less than that over the next four years.
Councillor Lorne Radbourne explains that should help cover increased operational costs and inflation without dinging the community as a whole.
“It’s one way of limiting tax increases by increasing some user fees so that users of facilities pay a little bit more so that the general populous isn’t hit by a consistent tax increase.”
He admits it has to be a balancing act keeping fees comparable to those of other spaces in town, and notes they’ve been recommended to increase recreational credits for low income families to $300 per person.
Councillor Kevin McLean was the lone vote against the change, arguing it may keep families from using facilities and there are better options.
“We had some instances at the Eastlink Centre where we’ve lost almost $3 million of operation, and I think if we can’t find a way of $180,000, and keep it at a certain level for families to use the facility, then something’s wrong.”
McLean notes that when the Eastlink Centre first opened, council was opposed to starting family passes off at more than $1,600 dollars, but now they’re looking at increasing to $1,530 in just a few years.