SUNDRE - Among the minor changes in Sundre’s 2020 fees and rates that council recently approved is a reduced cost for public skating at the arena in the hopes of attracting more skaters.
Chris Albert, director of corporate services, told council during the last council meeting that rates and fees are annually reviewed by administration and approved by council.
“We’ve done some comparatives this year, mostly with community services,” said Albert.
“They’ve put in quite a few comparatives with neighbouring municipalities to ensure that we’re within the ballpark.”
Other factors that managers will be keeping an eye on moving forward include striving to achieve proper cost mitigation, appropriate user-pay percentages, and council priorities, he said.
The arena’s public skate rate, he pointed out, has been reduced in an attempt to attract more users during those times, he said.
According to documentation in council’s agenda package, the new rates are $2 per adult, $1 per senior, with no charge for youth and children. Albert said in a followup email inquiry that those rates are down from $5.50 per adult and $3.25 for seniors in 2019, with child and youth rates unchanged at no cost.
"The other arena rates change effective May 1, 2020, but it is our intention to begin the lower public skate rates on January 1, 2020," he wrote in an email.
Additionally, utilities rates remain the same as last year, he said.
“We did comparisons earlier in the year and found that we were pretty much mid-pack, right where we want to be. So we did not change any of the utility rates for the upcoming year,” he said.
“With community services, a lot of the rates were updated to reflect increased costs or new packages that combine rates to offer things in a package format for the community centre,” he said, seeking motions from council to approve the bylaw’s readings.
Coun. Richard Warnock inquired about the procedure involved in providing an in-kind contribution to groups such as the Sundre Minor Hockey Association, which earlier during the meeting had requested a donation of icetime for a Hockey Alberta provincial tournament in March.
“What happens to the damage deposit, do we not collect one? What if there’s damages done?” he said, adding, “I see here it says, ‘damage deposit is half of the contract rental fee.’ But if there’s no rental, is there a damage deposit?”
Chief administrative officer Linda Nelson said the intent would still be to collect the damage deposit on the basis of what the rental cost would be.
“And then obviously it’s refundable at the end,” said Nelson.
Coun. Paul Isaac added that even an in-kind contribution such as an allocation of icetime involves outlining a contract that would include such considerations.
Council carried the required readings to approve the fees and rates bylaw.