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Battleford Approves Rate Increase for Recreation Facilities

Battleford town council in Canada has approved a recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Committee to increase rates for most of their recreation facilities. 

The committee, which reviews rates every two years, has suggested a six per cent increase to ensure that the rates are in line with other municipalities and reflect current operating costs.

The proposed rate increase aims to achieve a 50 per cent cost recovery and 50 per cent through taxation for the operations of the facilities. 

The review showed that the current rate of cost recovery varies across the different facilities, with the campground having the highest percentage of expenses recovered through user revenue at 95 per cent, followed by the arena at 53 per cent, Alex Dillabough Centre at 39 per cent, and Battleford Flats at 26 per cent.

The committee considered financial increases to staffing, utilities, and the consumer price index over the past two years while reviewing the rates. 

Additionally, the City of North Battleford’s rates were also reviewed to compare any proposed rate increase.

Deputy Mayor Doug Laing stated that he believes the increases are fair and necessary to maintain the upkeep of the buildings and facilities. 

He added that small increases are better than large increases to reach the 50/50 split. Councillor Alexis Christianson praised the modest increases and expressed satisfaction with the town’s facilities.

However, Councillor David George raised concerns about the proposed increase for adult slo-pitch, which he believes is too low compared to the cost of maintaining the softball diamonds. 

The town council agreed to leave the issue to Jordan Schechtel, Battleford’s parks and recreation manager, to address in the future.

There were also concerns raised about the every-two-year review, with Councillor George suggesting the need for a yearly review in case of high inflation rates. Jordan Schechtel stated that the two-year review is common practice but added that the town could review the rates in 2024, rather than 2025.

The approved rate increase will ensure that the town can continue to provide good facilities to residents while maintaining the 50/50 split between cost recovery and taxation.

With the approved rate increase, the campground’s rates will likely increase by six per cent to reflect current operating costs and ensure that the campground can maintain its high level of cost recovery.

While the exact new rates for the campground have not been specified, the increase will help the campground cover the expenses associated with staffing, utilities, and other operating costs while continuing to provide a quality camping experience for visitors.

Meanwhile, campers who frequent private campgrounds near Battleford may also see a slight increase in rates, as private campgrounds tend to adjust their rates based on the rates of nearby public campgrounds. 

However, the exact impact on private campgrounds will depend on several factors, such as their location, amenities, and operating costs.


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