Oak Bay park user fees slated to rise

If approved, increases would be phased in over three years

Council is on a path to up user fees for playing fields in Oak Bay after a review of regional versus local pricing.

Oak Bay Parks and Recreation Commission sought an analysis of perk permit fees during 2014 budget discussions, including the potential for different youth and adult rates. They found Oak Bay has lower rates than neighbouring communities, with a park permit rate of $14 for four hours, or $3.50 an hour, with no differentiation between youth and adult use.

To make things more complicated, two user groups pay additional costs for field maintenance due to historical arrangements. If council accepts the rate changes and other staff suggestions, those agreements would terminate in September 2017 when the park permit fee increases would complete phasing in.

“The commission has proposed a nominal increase in park permit fees to be in line with Victoria and Esquimalt. Our fees have been the lowest compared to our neighbours for a long time,” said Coun. Tara Ney, liaison to the commission. “The increase in permit fees is about fairness, streamlining administration of field use, and good fiscal management.”

Staff recommended the phased approach to bring youth users to a base rate near $6.42 plus annual increases and adults groups to double the youth rate. Annual increases are expected of around two per cent.

“This in not a heavy-handed rate increase by any means, but does work towards good fiscal management of the facility,” Ney said. “Though we have so far consulted with field user groups about this increase, we intend to consult further to ensure this park permit fee increase does not impose any unforeseen hardship on any one field user group.”

The recommendation would likely come up again for council during budget conversations in the new year after further discussion with field user groups.

“This is an opportunity to do some administrative cleanup, make it more streamlined,” Ney said. “It becomes a municipally wide policy if it’s supported.”

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Two popular Oak Bay art pieces to be installed permanently

Bodhi Frog and The Hunt stay thanks to public support and Oak Bay arts laureate Barbara Adams

Deadline looms for second annual Acorn Arts Award

Nominations for Oak Bay award must be in by Jan. 19

VIDEO: Murdoch to run for mayor

Two-term councillor Kevin Murdoch announces his intent to run for mayor’s chair in fall election

Langford loses bid to host Amazon HQ2

Mayor hopes to attract more tech jobs to city

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down. According to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Murdoch to run for mayor

Two-term councillor Kevin Murdoch announces his intent to run for mayor’s chair in fall election

Late charge in Portland sees Victoria collect third straight WHL win

Matthew Phillips leads the way with three-point night in 4-2 win, Giants up next

UPDATE: Police release new footage, launch website in hunt for 13-year-old’s killer

IHIT say no one has been arrested or charged in connection with Marrisa Shen’s death

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

Fines and extra patrols not happening at this time as ban begins Monday

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Former B.C. fire chief gets seven months for possession of child porn

The 63-year-old pleaded guilty during a brief hearing last year to one count

Most Read