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April 2nd, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 13
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Fee increases spare minor sports users
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
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Crowsnest Pass Municipal Council
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
No senior discounts were offered when council agreed to increase fees for public facilities, but the kids are making out pretty well.

Lyle Hannan, Director of Community Services, brought forward a list of recommended user fee increases to public facilities at the governance and priorities meeting on March 11. These were not adopted because they would have abruptly increased rental fees for the pool, arena and other public spaces.

At a regular meeting on March 25, council voted for an alternate set of increases that will see all youth rates reduced to 55 percent of the regular rates, which is much less than originally proposed.

Minor hockey athletes and figure skaters will be paying an extra $0.12 this year and $2.75 next year instead of the proposed increases of $5.62 and $3.00.

Members of the Crowsnest Swim Club will be paying $6.00 instead of the proposed $8.00.

Councillor Marlene Anctil argued against the initial user fee increases saying they would price some families out of minor sports but at last Tuesday’s council meeting she agreed the new increases were a fair compromise.

“You know I’m not in favour of an increase to this extent to our kids,” said Councillor Anctil. “[But] I like this amendment we’re doing.”

Hannan had initially proposed the changes to bring fees in the Pass closer to the average for other similar communities but Anctil said the community does not have many young athletes and that fee increases would further reduce their numbers.

She said the Pass only has 61 kids in minor hockey and that last year the minor hockey league was able to refund players $50 for early registration. Something they won’t be doing this year because they don’t have the funds.

While the youth are making out pretty well in the deal adults will not be receiving a discount. Rental fees for the Old Crows recreational hockey league are being increased by $10.25 an hour this year and another $5.00 next year. Members of the adult indoor soccer program will be paying an extra $17.50.

Also, fees are increasing for the Town Rounder by $3.00 this year plus one dollar for additional stops. Hannan suggested that a new community grants program could be used to offset these increases.

The money from these reduced fees had to come from somewhere and a municipal release on amendments to the 2014 budget show it’s coming from taxpayers.

The release shows the reduced increases for recreation facility rentals will cost the municipality about $8,000.
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April 2nd ~ Vol. 84 No. 13
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