RDCK Board approves new recreation user fees and charges
At its meeting on Aug. 19, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) Board of Directors approved a new fees and charges schedule for recreation admissions. The new fees are effective as of Sept. 7, 2021, and apply to drop-in, single-use, punch passes and time-based memberships.
“These new fees have been calculated to be consistent for recreation facilities and services across the district, providing greater transparency and ability to evaluate the financial performance of services so we can deliver better value and better experiences,” said Joe Chirico, RDCK General Manager of Community Services. “Recreation services at the RDCK are funded through a combination of user fees and taxation, so that recreation is subsidized by the community for the benefit of the community. User fees allow us to recover some of the cost of providing the services that our communities value.”
The fees were calculated from background work done by staff and consultants to build the fee framework as directed by the Board through the Fees and Charges Policy. Based upon 2017 actual financial performance, the average base cost of recreation services is $14.00 per individual per use of aquatic, fitness and arena drop-in programming per day. User fees recover part of that cost, while the remainder is supported by the community through taxation.
Cost recovery rates differ for each age category. For preschool children under five years old and for “Golden Guests” over 75, there is 0% cost recovery, meaning recreation is 100% supported by the community. The cost recovery rate for youth aged five to 18 is 25% (75% community supported); and for adults aged 19 to 74, the recovery rate is 50% (50% community supported).
The cost recovery framework is aligned with the Board’s emphasis on lifelong participation in recreation and reducing barriers to children and youth. Across all services, fees are now lower for children and youth.
While fees in the Adult age category have increased, adult use of RDCK recreation services is still subsidized by the community through taxation at 50%. Two previous fee categories have been removed. The previous Student category is now included in the Youth category, and the previous Senior category is included in the Adult category. The Golden Guest category has been lowered to 75 years from 80, providing more individuals with fully subsidized admission.
“Research has shown that individuals who are introduced to activity and recreation as children or youth are more likely to continue to be active as they age, which means better health and wellness outcomes over the lifespan,” said Chirico. “Eliminating the fee for children under five takes some of the burden off young families to participate in recreation, and redistributes cost recovery in a way that is fair and equitable.”
A one-year membership pass is not proposed at this time. RDCK staff will be working on reimagining this pass and how it can be used to drive participation in recreation.
To view the new fees and charges, visit the “Policies & Procedures” page at www.rdck.ca/recreation.
Incorporated in 1965, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is a local government that serves 60,000 residents in 11 electoral areas and nine member municipalities. The RDCK provides more than 160 services, including community facilities, fire protection and emergency services, grants, planning and land use, regional parks, resource recovery and handling, transit, water services and much more. For more information about the RDCK, visit www.rdck.ca.