Some fee increases are coming for 2020 — but not for Red Deer’s recreation centre admissions or transit rides.
Shelley Gagnon, manager of Recreation, Parks and Culture, said city residents will not pay any more to get into the Collicutt Centre, G.H. Dawe and Red Deer Recreation Centres than they did last year.
Recreation centre admission fees are increased every second year to keep up with rising costs. Since they were raised in 2019, they won’t be again this year to keep them more affordable for families, said Gagnon.
However, some city sports groups will be paying more in 2020 since facility rentals will be increasing by about five per cent. Gagnon noted rental fees haven’t been raised since 2018.
It will now cost $114.20 an hour to rent an ice surface, compared to a previous $108.80, for example. Lacrosse and ball hockey groups will pay $56.95 an hour to rent dry arena space, compared to $54.25.
While rental fees for the new and/or upgraded Sutter Place facilities were set in the mid-year budget in 2019, the five per cent increase will still apply to them, said Gagnon.
“Our costs go up and we don’t get a cost of living increase from council,” she explained.
By gradually raising rental fees when needed, the city ensures that groups aren’t eventually hit with a huge increase, Gagnon added.
The city tries to keep rental hikes between 3 and 7 per cent, so sports groups can budget accordingly, she said.
Transit users were also spared a fee increase for 2020, despite major changes coming in August for the transit department. “With the current economy, we decided not to do anything,” said transit manager George Penny.
Red Deer residents will see big changes in transit routes this year, but these generally fit into the department’s existing budget, he said.
Instead of the Sorensen Station being the central gathering hub for all transit buses, there will be regular bus runs up and down Gaetz Avenue, with neighbourhood routes joining up with this “spine” system.
Penny said two new covered bus terminals are planned for North and South Red Deer, but the costs for these will be mostly covered by grants.