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City proposing recreation fee increase

Lloydminster city council is considering raising the prices for recreation fees in 2020 and 2021.

The increases would be across the board for recreational facility admission fees and facility rentals.

Fee increases are listed in the council agenda and include a 25 cent increase for admission to the BioClean Aquatic Centre to a $5 increase to the one-year membership to the Servus Sports Centre.

Rental fees for the ice rinks and swim lanes will also be getting a bump in price. 

Councillor Glenn Fagnan says the increase is primarily to keep up with the increasing costs and to run the facilities as well as inflation.

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“Nothing is getting cheaper in terms of gas, power and electricity so this is just to maintain where we’re at right now. None of our facilities are profit-makers, they are all subsidized. The smaller the subsidy, the better it is for everybody.”

Mayor Gerald Aalbers says they’re trying to find a way to keep the same level of services while making sure the costs are fair for the taxpayers.

“We’re going to be facing an additional carbon tax on the first of January, so the heating bill in the BioClean Aquatic Centre and every other facility is going to go up. We’re facing cost drivers everywhere so what we’re trying to be as fair and spread the cost evenly across the users as well as the taxpayers that support those facilities.”

During the meeting, a question was asked if the city administration had any information on facility users from out of town and if they should be charged more for using the facilities. The city could be looking into charging more for those using the facilities but don’t live in the city.

Councillor Michael Diachuk says there is a precedence for the fee as they currently charge extra for individuals who don’t live in the city to use the landfill.

“What is the extent of usage? What’s reasonable? If the numbers are really high, the question we’re asking is, is it fair for the residents of Lloydminster city as taxpayers to support individuals from outside the city?”

If accepted, the increases would go into effect for Lloydminster golf, Servus Sports Centre and BioClean Aquatic Centre in February 2020. The field house, pool and other aquatic rental increases would go into effect in April-May 2020 and the arena rentals in September 2020.

Council will make a decision on the increase at a future council meeting.

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