LANCASTER, Ontario – South Glengarry Director of Recreation and Facilities Rick Ladouceur presented potential increases in rental fees for municipal facilities to South Glengarry Council during their meeting on Feb. 3.
According to Ladouceur, the cost of turning on the lights of a facility like the Char-Lan Recreation Centre works out to about $210 an hour.
Ladouceur pointed out that facility fees in South Glengarry have not been increased since 2015, and while he was not instructing council on what to do, he did feel it was his duty to present them with options.
According to a proposed scheduled increase presented by Ladouceur, prime time general ice time for the Char-Lan Recreation Centre would go up by $10 from $160 to $170 for the 2020-2021 year, then increasing by $5 every year until 2024-2025.
For minor sports, ice prime time would go from $118 an hour to $125 for the 2020-2021 year and then again increase by increments of $5 until 2024-2025.
Similar increases were suggested for the Char-Lan Recreation Centre event hall, the Martintown Community Centre and the Rozon Community Centre.
The full proposed schedule of increases can be found in Monday night’s agenda.
Members of Council chose to take time to review the proposed increases rather than accept them that night.
“I guess my personal opinion is we need to look at this stuff. I don’t think the public want an increase, but we will have to look at it,” said Councillor Martin Lang.
Deputy Mayor Lyle Warden compared this issue to the water and sewer increases that Council has been tackling over the past year. As with facility fees, the water and sewer budget was not increased according to recommendations for several years.
“It is a tough job providing a level of service, and asking users to pay a portion of it,” Warden said. “That being said, I thank you for bringing this to our attention. It is basically another water and sewer issue, if we don’t do something later we will have to. I will just need a little more time to sort through the information.”
Councillor Stephanie Jaworski pointed out that even for residents who did not use these facilities, there was still a value to their communities.
“There are a lot of residents who don’t use the arena, but they value it because they know it increases their property values,” she said. “I think most users understand that rates can’t stay the same forever. I think they also want a really clear rationale why rates are increasing.”
Council will consider Ladouceur’s recommendations and a motion will likely be moved at a future council meeting.