Rec rates rise

Residents will see a three-per-cent increase April 1 to recreational rates in town.

Residents will see a three-per-cent increase April 1 to recreational rates in town. Councillors approved the increase March 26 to keep up with inflation.

The proposed fees are comparable to surrounding communities, explained CAO Brad Watson. “It allows the groups and organizations to hold their annual general meetings to be aware of the increased rates.”

The goal is to discuss recreational rates during budget deliberations rather than after. Coun. Rick Bonnett said he would prefer a six to eight-per-cent increase to prepare for future needs. “We see with the federal and provincial government we see no granting for facilities in the next three to five years probably.”

He believes councillors should consult with community groups about a higher rate to set aside the extra amount for refurbishing or even constructing new buildings. Users can then see a long-term plan for recreation in Ponoka, Bonnett explained. “That I’d like to take to consultation with the user groups.”

Some of the rates are rounded up to keep fee rates simple, added Watson.

The recreation buildings operate at a deficit to ease the cost to users and the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex runs at a deficit of approximately $150,000 and the aquaplex runs at a deficit of approximately $270,000. The town also receives assistance from Ponoka County for rural users.