Courtenay launches recreation fees and charges survey

How do you think the City of Courtenay should set user fees for Courtenay Recreation facilities, programs and services? This fee structure is under review, and the City is inviting the public and user groups to provide input through an online survey.

Mayor Bob Wells said the review is an opportunity for the City and the public to ensure the fee structure is meeting the needs of the community.

“Our users range from individual drop-ins to fitness programs, to large commercial users wishing to rent our facilities,” said Wells. “User fees help support the cost of running these services, with the balance provided through property taxes. We’re trying to achieve a more open process to establish fees, and ensuring the fees are fair and appropriate for all users of these public facilities and programs.”

Recreation programs and services help meet the social, physical, and mental health needs of the community.

Last fall, under the guidance of city council, the City retained the services of RC Strategies to conduct a recreation fees and charges study.

The fees and charges survey will ensure user costs for these important community services are fair, practical, and consistent, while ensuring that the process for establishing these fees is transparent. The intent is to develop a policy that aligns fees and subsidy levels with the amount of benefit the community and individuals receive from the services. This is known as a “benefits-based approach.”

Initially, public engagement was to occur in March, however due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public consultation process was postponed until all involved were more prepared to engage. Organizations that use Courtenay Rec facilities will be consulted separately through a User Group Survey.

Facilities were closed in March due to the pandemic. Staff are working on a gradual, phased reopening of programs and facilities.

The survey will be open until Aug. 31.

There will be opportunity to provide feedback on a draft report before the review process is finalized. This will likely occur in the fall.

Learn more: www.courtenay.ca/recfees

For any questions regarding the project, feel free to contact the City of Courtenay Recreation and Cultural Services Department at rcs@courtenay.ca

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