Letters: Staggered fee structure may be way to go for Aldergrove aquatic centre, says councillor

Editor: I am incredibly pleased that we are able to build a brand new facility of this calibre in the Township and that as a new councillor, I am able to keep my commitment to the residents of Aldergrove. After decades of talk, it is great to finally have some action.

Township residents pay for these facilities and their upkeep through their property and business taxes.

The Township’s current financial policy keeps fees for anyone using recreational amenities at a moderate level and in many cases provides a subsidy for our residents that require it.

These financial policies have been implemented to benefit residents and to encourage a healthy community.

Non-residents who utilize Township facilities, don’t pay the taxes, yet still enjoy the same rates as our residents.

So, at the next Council meeting, on Sept. 14,  I will be proposing that Township staff investigate the possibility of implementing a staggered fee structure in the Aldergrove Aquatic Facility for non-residents.

As a business owner, I understand a balance must be struck to maintain the volume of use vs. a price-point threshold.

We need users in the facility to pay for it but there is a line there, and hopefully as staff look at models and best practices from other regions, a formula will emerge.

For example, based on current pricing, a family of four will be able to use the new Aquatic facility for about $11 a day.  A non-resident family of four can perhaps pay $15 a day.

That is still an incredibly reasonable fee for the “experience” that a visiting family will have in our new facility.  Perhaps these additional revenues can even be earmarked to pay for a permanent pool cover or provide additional low-income subsidies for more Township families and seniors.

With increased fiscal demands for new and expanded services, coupled with growing demands from non-residents, I think this policy consideration is necessary to maintain the existing high quality level of service for Township residents.

Staggered fee structures like this work in many municipalities across the country, we need to be asking these questions and looking at alternatives, always.

Angie Quaale,

Councilor,

Township of Langley