Courtenay is surveying residents about potential recreation fees and charges. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Courtenay launching recreation fees and charges survey

City is looking for feedback from user until end of August

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.

Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells said the review is an opportunity for both the City of Courtenay and the general 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 of Courtenay 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 2020, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public consultation process was postponed until all involved were more prepared to engage. Organizations that use Courtenay Recreation facilities will be consulted separately through a User Group Survey.

Courtenay Recreation facilities were closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff are working on a gradual, phased reopening of programs and facilities.

The survey will be open until Aug. 31, 2020.

RELATED STORY: City of Courtenay needs feedback on parks, recreation plan

There will be an opportunity to provide feedback on a draft report before the review process is finalized. This will likely occur in fall 2020. Learn more: www.courtenay.ca/recfees

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

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