For the third year in a row, entry fees and other charges at the pool and park facilities will be going up.
Salt Spring’s Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) approved a broad fee increase of 3.5 per cent Tuesday, March 14, which will apply to the existing PARC facility pricing formula for admissions, bookings and rentals starting in September.
After no fee changes in 2020 and two per cent hikes in 2021 and 2022, this year’s daily pool admission for adults will increase from $6.10 to $6.30, with an annual pass increasing from $414.40 to $428.90. A family admission for the day will rise from $12.20 to $12.60, with an annual pass increasing from $828.25 to $853.70. Commercial use of facilities such as classrooms and fields will increase by the same 3.5 per cent.
The commission also approved the addition of an hourly booking fee of $25 for school sport groups using the gym after hours — to remove cost barriers to participation, according to staff — and a $35 per hour charge for the dance room.
In the event the CRD continues to operate and manage the Saturday market in 2024, staff recommended a five per cent increase in market fees to offset additional operating costs and administration. That would bring the daily vendor charge for an eight-foot booth from $30.90 to $32.45.
User fees collected by PARC typically offset the amount of tax requisition collected for the delivery of recreation and park services; the upcoming increases are rounded to the nearest nickel, and program registration fees are not included in the fees and charges bylaw.
PARC staff also told commissioners the annual pool maintenance closure would likely run from Dec. 4 to Jan. 7, and will necessarily include a substantial electrical replacement project. The work won’t involve draining the pool this year, according to parks manager Dan Ovington, so there won’t be quite as many days’ wait as usual for the water to get back up to swimming temperature after work is completed.