New fee structure proposed for pools, room rentals

Community & Corporate Services Committee, May 27, 1pm & 6:30pm, City Hall

Burlington city pools

The proposals, outlined in report PR-10-14 and PR-17-14, will be considered at the Community & Corporate Services Committee, May 27.

An hourly market rental rate will be set based on what the market is willing to pay considering a number of factors including a market comparison, feedback received from renters and professional judgement.

Once the “market” rate is set, fees will be applied based on the following principles:

• Youth focused rentals would receive a 20% subsidy from the market rate given the emphasis and value of youth participation in recreation within the community.

• Commercial organizations would pay 140% of the determined market rate as typically commercial organizations are profiting from the rental of the space.

• Non-Resident organizations would also pay 140% of the determined market rate given that Burlington taxpayers should not be subsidizing non-residents through tax dollars.

• All hourly rental rates would have an additional and consistent capital surcharge of 5% to contribute to facility asset needs.

Under the new policy, swimming pool rates will range from $76 for the youth rate to $252 for the corporate rate (currently at $75.61 and $177.23 respectively). The most significant impact is for commercial and non-resident competitive swim clubs, which were paying a subsidized rate, and will now be required to pay a 40% premium (Indoor Pool 19%, Outdoor Pool 42% and 50-Metre Pool 51% increase). As a result, they might book less time with the City allowing for Burlington-based renters and youth groups to have more access to time at a lesser rate.

Private renters such as SCUBA groups already pay a higher fee closer to the commercial fee, resulting in a small increase of 2%. The resident youth-based
competitive swim club will have a 1% increase for indoor pools, and a decrease in outdoor pools of 14% as this rate will now be discounted by 20%.

Room rates will range from $22 to $35 for multipurpose rooms, and $25-$75 for auditoriums, with larger fees charges for facilities with more amenities (eg. parking, equipment).

The intent of the changes is not to raise revenues. Based on usage, once the new fees are implemented there may be a swing of $20-$22,000 in revenues up or down.

My Take: I support the change in fees which brings consistency across venues and some rationale to the rates. I also support the principle that youth and local groups should pay less than corporate or out of town organizations.

Your Take: What’s your view of the new fee structure and rationale? Leave a comment below.

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